Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — So far, nine provinces have received rice aid under a government programme to give nearly 5,200 tonnes of free rice to needy households as the Lunar New Year (Tết) draws near, said officials at the General Department of State Reserves.
Five northern mountainous provinces of Tuyên Quang, Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Bắc Kạn and Hà Giang share the rice aid with central province Thanh Hoá and the two south central coastal provinces of Ninh Thuận and Phú Yên.
Most recently, on February 2, poor households in six districts and townships of the northern province Yên Bái received 400 tonnes of rice aid.
Previously, the General Department of State Reserves has fulfilled rice handout requests from 18 provinces in the Tết occasion, totalling 12,500 tonnes for 830,000 people. After the first handout, there remain some 7,300 tonnes to be given away.
Presents for the needy
Yesterday, chairman of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) Trần Thanh Mẫn together with leading authorities of the southern province An Giang visited the local army, poor households and social beneficiaries in border localities.
At the border guard station Nhơn Hưng, VFF Chairman Mẫn congratulated the officers for upholding social security and order in the area, contributing to the integrity of national sovereignty. He also presented Tết gifts for the officers at the border station.
One hundred gifts, worth VNĐ 1.2 million ($53) each, have also been given to needy households in the two districts, Tri Tôn and Tịnh Biên, that border Cambodia. The two border districts’ population is mostly Khmer people (70 per cent), many of whom live in difficult socio-economic conditions. VFF Chairman Mẫn expected local authorities to pay the utmost attention to help poor ethnic minority households in the area to climb out of poverty, joining the ranks of middle-income and rich households.
Various programmes to support workers were held in southern provinces, including Đồng Nai and Long An, on the occasion of Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The Central Committee of Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, in coordination with Đồng Nai Provincial Youth Union, organised a New Year Festival on Sunday night with workers at NhơnTrạch Industrial Zone in the province, attracting 3,000 workers and local people.
The festival had contests such as wrapping bánh chưng (square glutinous cake) and decorating mâm ngũ quả (a set of five kinds of fruits) and other traditional games.
On the occasion, the Central Youth Union presented 50 free one-way air tickets to disadvantaged workers who were unable to go home. The workers will depart one day before Tết and will be assisted by shuttle to Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport and from Nội Bài International Airport to five provinces in the north.
The provincial Youth Union also gave over 4,000 Tết gift packages, worth VNĐ2 billion (US$88,000), to needy workers.
Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, secretary of Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, said over the past few years, the Central Youth Union had worked with the Labour Confederation to direct local youth unions and trade unions to assist labourers through such meaningful activities as presenting gifts to disadvantaged workers, handing free bus tickets or helping them buy Vietnamese products with reasonable prices.
The Youth Union has so far held 700 cultural activities and given 50,000 Tết gifts worth VNĐ14.5 billion ($638,400) to underprivileged workers.
It also presented 100 free air tickets and 21,000 free bus tickets, as well as made available free home-coming buses on the occasion.
Similar activities were also organised in the Mekong Delta province of Long An. During the festival, participants enjoyed many interesting performances and games.
Some 500 gifts worth VNĐ400,000 ($17.6) each was handed over to needy workers by the provincial Youth Union and donors.
Also on Sunday, Bạc Liêu Province Young Entrepreneurs Association presented more than 170 gifts worth VNĐ300,000 ($13) to families of civil servants, workers and students with financial difficulties. — VNS