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Hanoi earmarks 650 billion VND for the poor amid COVID-19 pandemic

09/04/2020

Hanoi will earmark 650 billion VND (28.2 million USD) to help the poor and other social beneficiaries via the local branch of Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority will be given to households enjoying debt payment rescheduling and extension, those under and just above the poverty line, families of war martyrs, invalids and social beneficiaries. Small- and medium-sized enterprises and cooperatives that attract a large number of labourers will also be eligible.

The capital is aimed at helping them restore production and offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The municipal authorities asked the VBSP branch to work closely with local administrations, mass organisations and associations to promptly disburse the sum, which is expected to meet about 65 percent of loan demand.
According to the report of VBSP’s Hanoi branch, African swine fever, bird flu and especially the COVID-19 pandemic have seriously affected the lives and production of the poor and social policy households in the city.
Additional capital of 1 trillion VND is needed for 25,000 customers, who are eligible for loans, to resume their production this year, the report said.
A representative from Hanoi's Deparment of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs said, in accordance with the draft Government Resolution to support people facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the capital city has between 2-3 million people who fall under this category.
Specifically, the city has nearly 281,000 people who receive monthly social allowance, including 89,000 who have contributed to the national revolutionary cause, over 8,700 poor households and 49,000 near-poor ones.
According to statistics from labour organisations, by the end of March, about 40% of the over 240,000 local enterprises had to reduce their production scale or suspend operations.
The number of employees with labour contract suspension or unpaid leave at enterprises, and employees with labour contracts terminated but not yet eligible for unemployment allowances is estimated to be over one million.
Speaking at an online meeting on April 6 to discuss the city's socio-economic development and response to COVID-19, Nguyen Manh Quyen, director of the city’s Planning and Investment Department, said the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted all aspects of life in the city.
He said the city would devise an action plan to support business, production and to ensure social welfare in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Among economic recovery efforts, the city will push forward administration reform efforts by simplifying procedures, shortening time spent on procedures and expanding the list of public administration services available online.
The city will also encourage the production of medical supplies, including face masks, antibacterial cleaning products, ventilators and testing kits to deal with the developments of the pandemic.
It will review its public expenditure for more effective spending, with a plan to cut spending by 5% this year.
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