KOTA KINABALU: Federal assistance to flood-hit Sabah will be channelled promptly, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had given the assurance that financial assistance for Sabah would be channelled quickly in response to an appeal by the state.

Hajiji said Ismail Sabri made it clear that the funds would be channelled at the soonest and that it was more important to ensure that the flood situation was under control.

The Prime Minister gave the assurance in response to the state’s request made by Hajiji during the post-northeast monsoon flood disaster management task force special meeting held virtually yesterday morning.

Hajiji had earlier briefed the Prime Minister, who chaired the special meeting, that six Sabah districts – Kota Marudu, Pitas, Paitan, Ranau, Sandakan and Telupid – had been affected by floods as of yesterday morning.

“We have opened up 23 temporary evacuation centres in these districts to shelter 874 families involving 2,435 people,” he said.

Hajiji added that all relevant agencies instructed to assist the flood victims had carried out their responsibility well.

So far, he said, Sabah had received RM200,000, and another RM674,000 was needed as financial assistance for affected families.

The Federal Government has announced that each affected family will be given welfare aid of RM1,000 under Bantuan Wang Ihsan (BWI).

At the same time, Hajiji said the state government was also distributing food baskets to the victims.

“So, it is good that the Federal Government will expedite the distribution of financial assistance to Sabah,” he added.

He also informed the Prime Minister that the state government was waiting for the infrastructure damage report in all the affected districts.

Hajiji will visit Kota Marudu, Pitas and Paitan tomorrow to assess the situation and meet flood victims.