Taiwanese fish killer to complete $500-mln compensation package this month

By Vo Hai   August 26, 2016 | 01:25 am PT
Taiwanese fish killer to complete $500-mln compensation package this month
The lives of fishermen in Vietnamese central provinces have been severely affected by the environmental disaster. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Toa
Vietnam's government received the first $250 million in July but has yet to distribute the funds. 

Vietnam is expecting to receive later this month the second half of a compensation settlement from Formosa Steel Ha Tinh worth a total of $500 million dollars in wake of the environmental disaster the Taiwanese company caused along the country’s central coast in April.

Formosa hit the headlines for causing one of the biggest environmental disasters in Vietnamese history, killing tons of fish across four coastal provinces. The company’s test-run led to the discharge of toxic substances into the sea, including phenol, cyanide and iron hydroxide.

Formosa has officially apologized to the Vietnamese people and promised to pay $500 million in compensation to make up for the damage. The firm also promised to compensate local people for economic losses, help them find new jobs and subsidize clean-up activities.

Deputy Finance Minister Nguyen Huu Chi confirmed that the first half of the $500 million package pledged by the Vietnam unit of Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group was received by the State Treasury in July, and the remaining $250 million will be transferred on August 28.

According to Chi, among the four central provinces hit by the disaster, which killed hundreds of tons of fish, only Thua Thien-Hue has submitted a plan for remedial support. Ha Tinh Province, which was at the center of the incident and the worst-hit, has yet to do so, along with Quang Tri and Quang Binh.

Chi said the distribution of the compensation package will begin once all the provinces have submitted their reconstruction plans and damage assessments.  

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Vietnam Fatherland Front – the organization that will oversee the distribution process – to prioritize the money for fishermen and local citizens.

On July 29, Environment Minister Tran Hong Ha confirmed that Formosa had transferred $250 million in compensation to the Vietnamese government.

The government is expected to distribute the first $250 million to affected localities where authorities will be responsible for allocating the funds.

Related news:

> Formosa's toxic disaster: are fish safe to eat now in central Vietnam?

> Formosa pays Vietnam first $250 mln fish death compensation

> Vietnam province launches criminal probe into Formosa-related waste burial

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