HCMC spends $25 mln on 543,000 pandemic victims

By Hoang Vu   August 17, 2020 | 01:46 am PT
HCMC spends $25 mln on 543,000 pandemic victims
Employees at Pouyuen Vietnam Co. Ltd, a Taiwanese shoe manufacturer in HCMC, leave the company after work on April 8, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Ho Chi Minh City has allocated financial support totaling VN595 billion ($26 million) to 543,345 people hard hit by Covid-19.

Of the amount, over VND58 billion ($2.48 million) was to support 56,512 workers laid off or on unpaid leave at 1,927 businesses, the city’s Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said.

The southern metropolis has spent VND1.04 billion to support 1,046 unemployed locals not eligible for unemployment benefits due to inadequate social insurance contributions, with each receiving VND1 million ($43) a month.

Meanwhile, 13,061 teachers and staff at private pre-schools have received a monthly allowance of VND1 million each.

In addition, the city also disbursed VND183.6 billion to support 183,646 self-employed workers, including street vendors and motorbike taxi (xe om) drivers, who lost their livelihoods, with each receiving VND1 million a month.

Over VND1.3 billion was given to support 1,347 household businesses affected as the government imposed social distancing measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

The city also spent over VND318 billion to support those enjoying social protection and those with a record of meritorious services to the nation as well as poor and near-poor households. Besides, it has disbursed over VND20.1 billion to help over 20,000 lottery vendors affected by a government order to shut down the service from April 1 to 22 to contain the pandemic.

HCMC announced a VND1.8 trillion ($78 million) financial support package in March, targeting around 600,000 people affected by the pandemic. But many, especially those lacking residence documents or work licenses, have complained about the procedural hurdles in applying for the assistance.

More than 327,000 employees in HCMC had lost their jobs in the first half of this year as a result of the pandemic, the highest number in the last four years, according to official data.

Around 120,000 staff at 4,000 businesses across HCMC are likely to be laid off from now until September with the resurgence of Covid-19 community transmissions, labor officials said.

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