A flight repatriating Vietnamese workers last September. Photo chinhphu.vn
HÀ NỘI — Young migrant workers in some central localities who have returned home due to COVID-19 will get support to overcome difficulties thanks to the implementation of initiatives on job replacement, income generation, provision of sexual and reproductive health knowledge and life skills.
The initiatives will be carried out in Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Trị provinces by the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, with technical support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and funds from the Government of Japan following a signing ceremony held online in Hà Nội on Wednesday.
Supporting young returning migrant workers is one of the most important components of the Project "Mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable population groups - Ensuring National Progress to Achieve SDGs in Việt Nam", which is funded by the Government of Japan.
The project focuses on four main issues: gender-based violence; care for older people; sexual and reproductive health; and support for young returning international migrant workers in 14 provinces suffering from negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; namely Thái Nguyên, Điện Biên, Lào Cai, Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh in the north; Đà Nẵng, Quảng Trị, Quảng Nam, and Đắk Lắk in the central region; and An Giang, Cần Thơ, Vĩnh Long and HCM City in the south.
Việt Nam is one of the countries which have been suffering from severe socio-economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young people are among the vulnerable population groups.
Young international migrant workers from the three provinces of Quảng Trị, Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh are facing harder impacts because of the sudden changes in working conditions. Some of them were forced to return to Việt Nam, and when they are in their homeland, they again suffer from the local socio-economic difficulties.
The situation becomes worse as it is not easy for them to reintegrate into their families, their communities, and the local labour market.
In order to support these young returning migrant workers, the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union has assigned the Centre for Youth and Adolescents to collaborate with the provincial Youth Unions of Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Trị to implement 29 youth-led initiatives.
With a total fund of over VNĐ2 billion (US$90,000), these initiatives will help provide these young returning migrant workers with job replacement, income generation, sexual and reproductive health and life skills from now until the end of March 2022.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ngô Văn Cương, Secretary of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, emphasised the importance of the initiatives to support young international migrant workers who returned home due to the COVID-19.
He said: “The Secretariat of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union will instruct the Vietnam Youth Union’s relevant departments to closely collaborate with the provincial Youth Unions of Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Trị to facilitate the implementation of the initiatives on job replacement and income generation, thus helping the returning migrant workers to settle."
"For the initiatives’ beneficiaries, I encourage you to work harder, to learn more and to apply advanced technologies in implementing the initiatives’ activities in order to utilise the financial resources in the most effective, reasonable and sustainable manner. I hope that you will soon overcome your difficulties and at the same time inspire your peers to follow suit,” he said.
In her opening remarks, Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative for Việt Nam, said: "The risk of COVID-19 to youth and adolescents is often under-estimated. Yes, young people may have a stronger immune system, but it does not necessarily mean that they are not affected by the impact of COVID-19.
"It is important to recognise that young people have been confronted with multiple shocks including a disruption to education and employment; income loss; and greater difficulties in finding a job, and accessing health and other public services.
"Young international migrant workers are some of the hardest hit," she said.
Kitahara added that the objective of the project is to help young migrant workers with essential life skills education including comprehensive sexual education, provide them with further professional support for their re-integration into the domestic labour market, and assist them for future career and life-long planning.
Daisuke Okabe, Minister of the Embassy of Japan in Việt Nam, said: "The initiatives on job generation, life skills and comprehensive sexual education will help young international migrant workers to be able to effectively cope with the challenges and facilitate their process of exploring different options and coming up with the optimal solutions, thus mitigating the negative impact of COVID-19 in Việt Nam.
“The Government of Japan is honoured to be able to support these initiatives which contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals’ philosophy of ‘leave no one behind’,” he said. — VNS