HCMC asks gov't for $1.2 bln to support poor people affected by pandemic

By Huu Cong   August 17, 2021 | 07:10 am PT
HCMC asks gov't for $1.2 bln to support poor people affected by pandemic
Poor people receive charity meals in HCMC, June 18, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
HCMC has asked the government for a relief package of VND28 trillion ($1.22 billion) and 142,200 tons of rice for over 4.7 million people.

The money is expected to cover food and rent expenses to help poor working families, especially migrants, survive the pandemic social distancing impacts, and prevent them from trying to leave the city in droves as seen in recent days, Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee said in a proposal sent to the government and ministries of Finance and Labor-Invalids-Social Affairs on Tuesday.

The city, the biggest in Vietnam that is home to 13 million including migrants, aims to use the package on 1.5 million families with 4.7 million people.

In the past two months, aside from a government’s relief package of VND26 trillion ($1.13 billion) that came out in July, the city has issued two of its own packages valued VND1.8 trillion in total to help the poor as well as businesses hit by the pandemic.

The city itself has suffered financial impacts from the pandemic as its budget collection has been dropping since May and is unlikely to meet the target it has been assigned, which is collecting VND365 trillion of budget this year.

The epicenter of the ongoing Covid-19 wave, the city has applied social distancing measures at different levels since May 31, during which it has suspended all non-essential services, shut down street-side markets, ban food and drink takeaways and all ride-hailing services.

The city last Sunday has announced to extend the social distancing rule for another month until September 15.

So far in the fourth wave that emerged in Vietnam in late April, HCMC has recorded 156,186 cases and 5,197 deaths.

Saigon in Covid-19 battle. Video by VnExpress/Vu Tuan

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