assist citizens abroad
HA NOI — A special fund
has just been established enabling Vietnamese embassies and consulates to offer
urgent support when needed to Vietnamese citizens and business corporate abroad.
With an initial budget of
VND20 billion, mainly from the State budget, the fund will be used to help those
who face serious problems they cannot overcome, such as serious accidents.
The help will include
paying for tickets to return home to Viet Nam and hospital fees. However, it
will be provided under the sponsorship of their families or organisations in
Viet Nam who will guarantee they will pay back the money.
The heads of Vietnamese
diplomatic missions will be able to approve payments under US$3,000. The
director of the fund in Viet Nam will be able to approve up to $10,000.
If the expense exceeds
that level, the case must be reported to Minister of Foreign Affairs for
The fund will cover
non-refundable and refundable expenditures.
Non-refundable grants will
be used to help protect people’s lives and moving them to safe places in case
of war, conflict, natural disasters, epidemics, terrorism attacks and
They will also be used in
approved cases when Vietnamese citizens fall foul of the law overseas and need
The grants will only be
paid to citizens who cannot afford to pay and have no sponsorships. Some of the
special-fund money will be used to pay for the time and effort of staff
include advance payments for hospital fees, medicines, air tickets to return to
Viet Nam, accommodation and food, funerals, cremations and the transportation of
Those receiving them will
have to make written commitments to pay back the money.
"All cases will be
solved as soon as possible so that needy Vietnamese people abroad can receive
timely support," said the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Head
of Consulate Department, Duong Chi Dung.
Dung, who is also director
of the fund, said that financial support for Vietnamese citizens abroad had been
carried out for a long time.
He said diplomatic staff
had dealt with many problems involving Vietnamese labourers, women who married
foreigners and students.
established fund will enable embassies and consulates to be more active in
supporting needy people now that more Vietnamese people are travelling, working
and studying overseas," he said.
"The fund is a
product of the concern of the Party and State in protecting and supporting
Vietnamese citizens and representatives overseas," he said.
Dung added that recently,
Vietnamese fishermen had been sent home after being seized by Indonesian
authorities because they had illegally fished in Indonesian territory. He said
it was the first time the Vietnamese embassy in Indonesia had used the fund.
However, the owners of the
fishing boats were now responsible for paying back the money.
"VND20 billion is
just a small sum and will be constantly topped-up from the State budget,"
said Dao Viet Trung, Deputy Foreign Minister, "So the Government encourages
individuals, enterprises and organisations in and outside the country to
contribute to the fund."
Vietnamese people residing
overseas, who buy local insurance, are not eligible to the special support. –