HCMC districts cash-strapped for Covid support

By Le Tuyet   October 20, 2021 | 04:47 pm PT
HCMC districts cash-strapped for Covid support
Authorities of Ward 11 in HCMC's Go Vap District distribute Covid-19 support money to the people. Photo by VnExpress/Le Tuyet
Several HCMC districts have run out of Covid-19 support funds, leaving tens of thousands of people hard-pressed for money during the third distribution round.

Around 16,000 people in District 12's Dong Hung Thuan Ward have yet to receive their Covid-19 support money during the third round of distribution as of Wednesday, accounting for 40 percent of those eligible to receive support in the ward.

Lam Quan Minh Vuong, chairman of the ward's People's Committee, said the money would run out in another one or two days.

"We have proposed the higher ups send more money to help the people," he said.

Several other wards in District 12 are suffering the same fate. Nguyen Van Xem, head of the Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Department of the district, said about 609,000 residents need help, amounting to around VND609 billion ($26.6 million). But so far, the district has only received VND300 billion, which ran out by Oct. 9. The district has had to temporarily borrow VND100 billion to support its wards.

"The district no longer has any other source to supply the money, and people are looking forward to it," Xem said, adding that another 70,000 people have been added to the support list since.

Dao Thi My Thu, deputy chairwoman of Go Vap District, said around 374,000 residents are eligible to receive money during the third round of distribution. At the end of September, the district received VND330 billion from the city, with VND280 billion used to help the people, she said.

The district has tried to temporarily borrow money to help too, but over 34,000 people have yet to receive support, she added.

"If we count the amount of support money that's still missing from the first two rounds of distribution, the district needs another VND200 billion to support all its people," Thu said, adding that the district has already requested more funds from the city.

Similarly in District 11, over 146,000 people are eligible to receive support money in the third round. The VND80 billion distributed to the district ran out after 20 days, however.

Tran Thi Bich Tam, deputy chairwoman of the district's People's Committee, said the district still lacks around VND66 billion to support residents. Though it had tried to pay some in advance, over 26,000 have still to receive the money, Tam said.

Pham Thi Hong Ha, director of the HCMC Department of Finance, said it had enough money to distribute to wards, but is still waiting for the office of the People's Committee to finish certain procedures. The money should be distributed within the next few days, Ha said.

Ho Chi Minh City's third round of distributing Covid-19 support money aims to help 7.3 million people in the city with VND7.3 trillion. Each person would receive VND1 million, no matter their residential status.

Thu Duc City has compiled a list of 6.3 million residents who need support. As of Oct. 15, only around 4.7 million people have received their money. Thu Duc People's Committee expects to distribute the rest by Friday.

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