HCMC promises to deliver support package to each resident in need

The Covid-19 pandemic has made many a large number of people living in Ho Chi Minh City, especially those from other provinces, face so many financial difficulties. The municipal authorities have tried all ways to offer both physical and spiritual help to those vulnerable individuals. In reality, however, there are still cases that have not received sufficient support. A collaboration between the localities and communities is they key to cover all emergency situations.


Dwellers in Quarter 7 of An Khanh Ward in Thu Duc City received support packages in the pandemic. (Photo: SGGP)

Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong once stated that in the peaceful time, laborers from different provinces work in the city and actively contribute to its impressive socio-economic development; so now in the harsh time, when they have lost their job, the city must take good care of them.

Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen also pointed out that laborers from other provinces want to return to their hometown because they cannot endure this harshness any longer due to financial trouble.

Therefore, HCMC has continuously introduced support campaigns with the contribution of the state budget and charity funds.

Right now, the city is launching the third support campaign, worth VND1,000 billion (approx. US$43.6 million) for the poor, each receiving VND50,000 ($2.2) per day in two weeks from August 15.

The HCMC Center for Social Security immediately advances each district VND1 billion ($43,600) and Thu Duc City VND3 billion ($130,800) to timely help poor households in the areas. There are also 1 million meals to be delivered to the poor, along with 0-dong bus rides to provide essential goods free of charge to the needy and 2,500 gift packages of essential items distributed to disadvantaged families a day in one month.

The program to deliver 1 million social security packages in HCMC’s latest social distance extension will be launched on August 19 as well.

To prepare a list of eligible people for the above support campaigns, police offers in charge of each neighborhood call related people to verify necessary information. Thai Duc Do, a landlord in District 1, shared that yesterday morning, the police officer in his neighborhood contacted him to ask whether his two tenants need help of essential commodities. He then checked with his tenants and responded back that they are current working and can manage their life, and that the packages should be saved for others in need.

Sadly, in certain places in HCMC, there still exist vulnerable people who have not received any help from the three formal support campaigns of the municipal authorities.

At a rented room in Quarter 4 of An Lac Ward in Binh Tan District, Huynh Bich Phung confined that her husband is the bread winner of the family with an income of VND6 million ($262) a month. This is enough for the rent, foodstuff for a family of 3 children. Unfortunately, due to the latest Covid-19 outbreak, he has lost his job, but still received no financial aid for 3 months already.

The family of Nguyen Thi Kim Dung in a small rented room is still waiting for the financial aid from the localities. (Photo: SGGP)

Living in the same neighborhood is the family of Nguyen Thi Kim Dung. Both she and her husband cannot go out to work because of Directive 16. Even having a rent discount of 50 percent, she still cannot manage enough money to pay her landlord. Her name is written in the list for support package, but after 2 months, the money is nowhere to be seen.

The localities of Binh Tan District admitted that there are still cases of poor people not having obtained financial aid from the government. In the former support round, the district listed over 16,100 individuals and 19,000 laborers without contract. This turn, the district reviews and adds nearly 180,000 more cases that need urgent help.

Other districts also acknowledge that there are cases of poor people not satisfying the requirements of the support package campaigns. Meanwhile, leaders of each neighborhood have to endure pressure of complaints from poor people even though they have already included the names of these people in the list. The reason is that the packages distributed to each neighborhood are rather limited.

Associate Prof. Dr. Le Thanh Sang, Head of the Southern Institute of Social Sciences, commented that the authorities should total erase all requirements in delivering support packages to the disadvantaged. Since the basic needs of all people in HCMC at the moment are sufficient food, stable accommodation, and health safety, the municipal authorities should provide them to all in need, regardless of the accommodation status or job. This help must be constant.

The Standing Committee of HCMC People’s Council yesterday asked that delegates must monitor the distribution of social security packages in their neighborhoods. When detecting a case of poor people with no help, these delegates must promptly inform the localities to ensure no one is left hungry.

Dr Huynh Thanh Dien from Nguyen Tat Thanh University proposed that the authorities can mobilize possible resources from the community to aid the poor to pay their rent, electricity and water bills so that they stay safe through the pandemic.

A citizen from District 3 suggested that the localities must become the leader to gather relief items or charity funds from philanthropists and direct the distribution process logically. In addition, the city should have a long-term social security plan for at least six months with clear goals and operation methods.

Meanwhile, the whole country is still continuously sending help to HCMC.

The People’s Committee of Hai Phong City has just decided to deliver VND2 million ($87) for each needy family from Hai Phong City living in HCMC. The first money delivery round is according to the list made on August 3. This list will be gradually updated in the following rounds.

People from An Giang Province living in HCMC that need help can contact Tran Van Hao, the General Secretary of the An Giang Province-men in HCMC, at the number 0849.478889.

Vice Chairman of the Committee for Vietnam Fatherland Front in Ca Mau Province Phan Mong Thanh informed that the province is distributing help to needy individuals from the province living in HCMC in three rounds. The first round is the delivery of 12 tonnes of shrimp. The second supports 2,000 students with VND500,000 ($22) each and rice, dried seafood. The third supports nearly 3,000 laborers with VND1 million ($44) each and rice, essential commodities.

Other provinces like Bac Lieu, Vinh Long, Ha Tinh are also going to deliver financial aid and essential items to people from their own provinces coming to live in HCMC.

Besides financial help, the provinces of Quang Tri, Quang Ngai, and Da Nang City have organized many patrolled trips for people from their provinces wishing to return to their hometown.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam informed that so far, it has received VND60 billion ($2.6 million) from charity groups and benefactors. This is the result of the campaign launched by Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, to mobilize support from all Catholics Vietnamese people, both domestic and overseas.

Parishes, religious orders, and Catholic charity groups all over the nation and in other countries have sent money, foodstuff, medication, medical equipment, and essential commodities to HCMC for distribution to the needy here, regardless of religion.

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