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Government agrees to provide 130,000 tons of rice for 24 provinces, cities

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HCMC – The Government this morning, August 20, approved the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs’ proposal to provide 130,175 tons of rice from the national rice reserve to the cities and provinces hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The policy is expected to benefit some 8.6 million disadvantaged people in 24 cities and provinces, mostly in  southern Vietnam. Each person will receive 15 kilograms of rice per month.

HCMC will receive the largest amount of rice with over 71,100 tons for some 4.74 million residents, followed by Binh Duong with 11,325 tons, Dong Thap with 5,883 tons, Can Tho with 5,015 tons, Binh Thuan with 4,018 tons, An Giang with 3,362 tons and Dong Nai with 3,100 tons.

Tien Giang, Ca Mau, Ben Tre, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Kien Giang, Vinh Long, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Tra Vinh, Danang, Binh Dinh, Long An, Ninh Thuan, Dak Nong, Daklak, Nghe An and Tay Ninh will be provided with 336-3,000 tons of rice each.

The Government had earlier given more than 4,100 tons of rice to Binh Phuoc, Bac Lieu and Soc Trang provinces.

HCMC, which is currently the country’s Covid-19 epicenter, earlier asked the central Government for a relief aid package worth nearly VND28 trillion (US$1.2 billion) and 142,200 tons of rice to support disadvantaged people in the city.

In a document sent to the prime minister, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs on August 17, the People’s Committee of HCMC said the package would help cover the food and rental expenses of poor families during the citywide social distancing period.

Many of them are migrants who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic but are stuck in the city.

Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Van Hoi said the ministry will consider proposing other relief packages if the difficulties caused by the pandemic continue.

Addressing a government meeting on August 18, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh requested that cities and provinces ensure sufficient food, medical supplies and shelter for the citizens during the social distancing period.

To support the localities, the Government would use food from the national reserve. The prime minister also asked the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor to consider using the trade union fund to support workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

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