Wan Azizah explains what happened to Qatari donation for Rohingya

Former women, family and community development minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

PETALING JAYA: Former deputy prime minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail explained today that Yayasan Kebajikan Negara (YKN) and the National Security Council (NSC) are in charge of managing the US$50 million (RM218 million) donated by the Qatar Development Fund for Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.

“The important thing is that this provision was never channelled to the government but given directly by Qatar through the Qatar Charity (QC) to the NGOs involved,” Wan Azizah said in a Facebook post today.

“YKN, an agency under the women, family and community development ministry, is the coordinating body for the donation in line with a Cabinet decision on April 5, 2019.

“The Cabinet also appointed the NSC as chair of the monitoring committee for the programme, and it reported directly to a committee which I chaired until Feb 23, 2020,” added Wan Azizah, who is the former women, family and community development minister.

She was replying to a Facebook post yesterday by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who, in denying claims on social media that the money was channelled into his private account, said the public should ask the previous Pakatan Harapan administration to account for the funds.

The former deputy prime minister also provided a link to a post on Wan Azizah’s Facebook page on Nov 25, 2018, which thanked the Qatari government for a US$50 million donation for programmes to help Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.

Wan Azizah explained that the Cabinet had adopted this structure to ensure transparency in the implementation and operation of the donation’s projects in accordance with the PH government’s emphasis on accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance.

The Qatar Development Fund’s donation was to provide primary school education, skills training, medical treatment and healthcare for the Rohingya community in Malaysia.

Wan Azizah noted that for the health initiatives, an agreement was signed on Sept 13, 2019 between YKN, QC and three NGOs involved in this sector – Mercy Malaysia, Malaysian Islamic Medical Association and Malaysia Relief Agency – with YKN conducting due diligence on the programmes.

She said the one-year agreement, which will end on Sept 12, 2020, would be renewed annually for three years with an annual allocation of $US5 million (RM21.7 million) a year.

Wan Azizah also said the PH administration was unable to implement projects in the other two priority areas – education and skills training – prior to the change in government.

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