Hà Nội earmarks $28.2m for the poor amid COVID-19 pandemic

April 08, 2020 - 11:06

Hà Nội will earmark  VNĐ650 billion (US$28.2 million), the first stage, in support of the poor and other social beneficiaries via the local branch of Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Representatives from People’s Committee of Mai Động Ward in Hà Nội’s Hoàng Mai District present food for households with economic difficulties in the locality. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuấn

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội will earmark VNĐ650 billion (US$28.2 million) to help poor and other social beneficiaries via the local branch of Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority will be given to households enjoying debt payment rescheduling and extension, poor and near-poor ones, families of martyrs, war invalids and social beneficiaries. Small and medium-sized enterprises and cooperatives that attract a large number of labourers will also be eligible. 

The capital is aimed at helping them restore production and offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The municipal authorities asked the VBSP branch to work closely with local administrations, mass organisations and associations to promptly disburse the sum, which is expected to meet about 65 per cent of loan demand.

According to the report of VBSP’s Hà Nội branch, African swine fever, bird flu and especially the COVID-19 pandemic have seriously affected the lives and production of the poor and social policy households in the city. 

Additional capital of VNĐ1 trillion is needed for 25,000 customers, who are eligible for loans, to resume their production this year, the report said.

A representative from Hà Nội Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Department said, in accordance with the draft Government Resolution to support people facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hà Nội has between 2-3 million people who fall under this category.

Specifically, the city has nearly 281,000 people who receive monthly social allowance including 89,000 who have contributed to the national revolutionary cause, over 8,700 households and 49,000 near-poor ones.

According to statistics from labour organisations, by the end of March, about 40 per cent out of over 240,000 enterprises had to reduce their production scale or suspend operations.

The number of employees with labour contract suspension, unpaid leave at enterprises, employees with labour contracts terminated but not yet eligible for unemployment allowances is estimated to be over one million.

Speaking at an online meeting with city leaders on Monday to discuss the city's socio-economic development and response to COVID-19, Nguyễn Mạnh Quyền, director of the city’s Planning and Investment Department, said the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted all aspects of life in the city.

He said the city would devise an action plan to support business, production and to ensure social welfare in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Among economic recovery efforts, the city will push forward administration reform efforts by simplifying procedures, shortening time spent on procedures and expanding the catalogue of public administration services available online.

The city will also encourage the production of medical supplies, including face masks, antibacterial cleaning products, ventilators and testing kits to deal with the developments of the pandemic.

It will review its public expenditure for more effective spending, with a plan to cut spending by 5 per cent this year.

Earlier, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc announced that the Government will spend VNĐ28-30 trillion to help those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the draft Resolution on Government’s COVID-19 support, presented at the regular cabinet meeting by the Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng on April 1, there will be six groups of people who are eligible for the relief payments.

Social policy beneficiaries and those who have rendered services to the State during the revolution and wards receiving merit payments will be given an additional VNĐ500,000 ($21.8) each month in April, May, and June. There are about 4.135 million people who fall under this category.

About 984,000 poor households and 1,260,000 near-poor households across the country will receive VNĐ1 million each month in April, May, and June.

Workers who were furloughed or put on leave without pay due to the direct impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be provided VNĐ1.8 million ($76) a person a month. — VNS