Virtual meeting of the parties that collaborated on the humanitarian aid project. Photo from the Embassy of Switzerland in Vietnam.
HÀ NỘI — Oxfam in Vietnam, in collaboration with the Embassy of New Zealand and the Embassy of Switzerland, announced on Tuesday a humanitarian aid project of nearly VNĐ1.3 billion (US$56,000) to assist vulnerable migrant workers most affected by COVID-19 in Hồ Chí Minh City.
Following the ongoing crisis caused by the pandemic outbreak Hồ Chí Minh City, the aid package will provide cash relief of VNĐ1.5 million ($65) to those that need it most over the next three months.
The cash grant will help over 700 of the most vulnerable migrant workers, especially women in the most severely hit districts (Districts 4, 6, 9, 7,11, 12 and Bình Thạnh), purchase essentials such as food and medicine.
Oxfam in Vietnam, the Center for Disability and Development (DRD), and the Center for Social Work Research and Community Development (SDRC) conducted rapid assessments in August 2021, which found many informal migrant workers in HCM City were facing a downward spiral of survival hardship. They had lost their income due to prolonged social distancing, and had few other options for receiving support.
“Due to the pandemic, I and many others in HCM City found ourselves in a difficult situation. I have been in quarantine since July and out of a job. In August, although being inside most of the time, I caught the virus as many others in my residence got infected”, said Nguyễn Trí Tính, an aid recipient. “This aid package means a lot to us to keep holding on and overcome the pandemic. I hope that not only me but other people in difficult situations will also get the relief.”
“I was touched to learn that I would get the support package,” said Thạch Thị Sô Đa, another recipient, “I would like to express my gratitude to my teacher Cử and these organisations who have given me a chance to pay rent and tuition fees for my children.”
The package will be delivered by the two partner organisations of Oxfam, which will work closely with local government and mass organisations.
“This project demonstrates the strong partnership between New Zealand and Việt Nam,” said New Zealand Chargé d’Affaires to Viet Nam, Joseph Mayhew. “This project is a practical initiative to help ease the economic impacts of COVID-19 on workers and their families. I am proud to say that through the Head of Embassy’s Fund, we have been able to support more than 3,000 women throughout Việt Nam impacted by COVID-19 in the last 12 months.”
“Switzerland stands with Việt Nam to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, Switzerland has delivered medical supplies worth USD 5.5 million (VNĐ126 billion) to Việt Nam. Today, the Swiss Embassy is pleased to announce our humanitarian contribution to support vulnerable groups in HCMC, in joint partnership with Oxfam and SDRC”, said Vanessa Di Giorgi, Diplomatic Attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Việt Nam.
“We appreciate the solidarity from the New Zealand and Swiss Embassies in providing support to people in need and leaving no one behind. Humanitarian assistance is an important program in Oxfam’s country strategy. Cash provision is the first line of critical and pragmatic support, which offers people a maximum degree of choice, flexibility and dignity. We will also do further research to identify priorities in supporting communities’ recovery from COVID-19 crisis”, said Phạm Quang Tú, Oxfam in Vietnam’s Deputy National Director. — VNS