Oxfam in Vietnam, a non-governmental organization, together with the Embassies of New Zealand and Switzerland in Vietnam, on Tuesday announced nearly VND1.3 billion (US$57,000) worth of humanitarian aid to help internal migrant workers in Ho Chi Minh City overcome the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 700 of the most vulnerable migrant workers, especially women, in the most severely hit districts, such as District 4, District 6, District 9, District 7, District 11, District 12, and Binh Thanh District, will receive a cash grant to help purchase essentials like food and medicine in the next three months.
Oxfam’s partners, namely the Disability Research and Capacity Development (DRD) and the Center for Social Work – Community Development Research and Consultancy (SDRC), will closely join hands with organizations and local authorities to hand over the aid to the beneficiaries.
The relief package was built following a rapid evaluation conducted by Oxfam in Vietnam and two partners in August 2021, among domestic migrant workers affected by COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City.
The evaluation found many informal migrant workers are facing a downward spiral of survival hardship.
They have lost their jobs and income due to prolonged social distancing and have few other options for receiving support.
“Cash provision is the first line of critical and pragmatic support which offers people a maximum degree of choice, flexibility, and dignity,” said Pham Quang Tu, Oxfam in Vietnam’s deputy national director.
“We will also do further research to identify priorities in supporting communities’ recovery from COVID-19 crisis.”
Chargé d’Affaires of the New Zealand Embassy Joseph Mayhew affirmed that the aid package serves as proof of a close-knit partnership between New Zealand and Vietnam.
More than 3,000 women across Vietnam affected by COVID-19 received support via the New Zealand Head of Mission Fund over the past year, he added.
Vanessa Di Giorgi from the Swiss Embassy said Switzerland always stands side by side with Vietnam to overcome the pandemic.
Switzerland had previously presented medical supplies worth $5.5 million to support Vietnam’s fight against COVID-19.