Gov't to provide 130,000 tons of rice to 24 localities

By Hong Chieu   August 20, 2021 | 12:22 am PT
Gov't to provide 130,000 tons of rice to 24 localities
A man receives free lunch donated at a church in HCMC, June 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The government will extract 130,175 tons of rice from the national food reserve to help 8.6 million people hit financially by the pandemic.

The policy follows a Thursday proposal by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Minister Nguyen Van Hoi said each of the 8.6 million people in 24 cities and provinces will receive 15 kilos of rice within a month.

After this period, if people in these localities still experience difficulties, the ministry would ask the government for further support.

On the list of 24 localities are Ho Chi Minh City, its neighbor provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh and Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Mekong Delta’s Can Tho City and provinces of Dong Thap, An Giang, Tien Giang, Ca Mau, Ben Tre, Kien Giang, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, and Long An, and the central provinces of Binh Thuan, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Ninh Thuan, Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Nghe An and Da Nang City.

The government had on Monday provided over 4,100 tons of rice to people in need in the three southern provinces of Binh Phuoc, Bac Lieu and Soc Trang.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said Wednesday to continue the Covid-19 fight, the country must succeed in achieving social distancing, and for that, all cities and provinces applying it should ensure people do not lack food or shelter so they "stay where they are right now."

For that to work, the government would source food from the national reserve.

Vietnam, hit by a fourth Covid-19 wave, the most challenging it has faced since the pandemic started, in late April has confirmed 308,560 cases, including 7,115 deaths.

HCMC is the epicenter with nearly 160,000 infections.

The city switched to Directive 16 on July 9 after imposing the less stringent Directive 15 since May 31.

Directive 16 has also been imposed in 18 other southern cities and provinces, Hanoi, Da Nang and other localities across the nation, banning people from leaving home except for "essential purposes" like buying food and seeking medical treatment or to work at places still allowed to operate.

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