HCMC – Non-governmental organization Oxfam Vietnam, in collaboration with the New Zealand and Swiss embassies in Vietnam, announced humanitarian aid worth some VND1.3 billion (US$57,000) on October 5 to support migrant workers in HCMC, which is the country’s Covid-19 epicenter.
More than 700 disadvantaged and vulnerable workers, especially female workers in informal sectors, will receive VND1.5 million in cash each to buy necessities such as food and medicine.
This financial package is expected to help migrant workers in seven of the worst-hit districts of the city, comprising districts 4, 6, 9, 7,11, 12 and Binh Thanh, to overcome the financial hardships caused by the pandemic.
Oxfam will work closely with the Center for Disability Research and Capacity Development, the Center for Social Work – Community Development Research and Consultancy and the local authorities to hand over the aid to the beneficiaries in the next three months.
According to Oxfam, many migrant workers in HCMC, which are among the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic, are struggling with the economic impact of Covid-19. Many of them have lost their jobs due to the closure of businesses and had limited access to essential goods and services during the social distancing period.
“This project demonstrates the strong partnership between New Zealand and Vietnam,” said New Zealand Charge d’Affaires to Vietnam Joseph Mayhew. He expected that this initiative would help ease the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on migrant workers and their families.
According to Mayhew, this is the fifth such project that the Embassy of New Zealand in Vietnam has delivered this year along with a range of partners. In total, the embassy has been able to support around 3,000 women affected by Covid-19 across the country via the New Zealand Head of Mission Fund over the past year.
“Switzerland stands with Vietnam to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. The Swiss Embassy is pleased to announce our humanitarian contribution to support vulnerable groups in HCMC, in joint partnership with Oxfam and the Center for Social Work – Community Development Research and Consultancy,” said Vanessa Di Giorgi, Diplomatic Attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Vietnam.
Switzerland had previously provided medical supplies worth US$5.5 million in total to support Vietnam in the fight against Covid-19.
According to Pham Quang Tu, deputy national director of Oxfam in Vietnam, cash provision is the first line of critical and pragmatic support which offers people a maximum degree of choice, flexibility and dignity.
“We appreciate the solidarity from the New Zealand and Swiss embassies in providing support to people in need and leaving no one behind. Humanitarian assistance is an important program in Oxfam’s country strategy. We will also do further research to identify priorities in supporting the recovery of communities from the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.