Migrant workers most affected by COVID-19 to receive relief from embassies

October 05, 2021 | 16:48
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The embassies of New Zealand and Switzerland will fund a VND1.3 billion ($56,520) humanitarian aid project to assist vulnerable migrant workers in Ho Chi Minh City to overcome the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Migrant workers most affected by COVID-19 to receive relief from embassies
The New Zealand and Swiss embassies have joined Oxfam in Vietnam to support migrant workers affected by COVID-19

The New Zealand Embassy and the Embassy of Switzerland in collaboration with Oxfam in Vietnam today announced a humanitarian aid project of nearly VND1.3 billion ($56,520). Over the next three months, the aid package will provide cash relief of VND1.5 million ($65) to those in the greatest need, following the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the epicentre of Ho Chi Minh City.

Over 700 of the most vulnerable migrant workers, especially women, in the most severely hit districts (districts 4, 6, 9, 7,11, 12, and Binh Thanh), will receive a cash grant to help purchase essentials such as food and medicine.

The cash grants will be delivered by Oxfam’s partner organisations, including the Center for Disability and Development (DRD) and the Center for Social Work Research and Community Development (SDRC), who will work closely with the local government and mass organisations.

The relief package was established following rapid assessments in August 2021 conducted by Oxfam in Vietnam and the two partner organisations, among migrant workers affected by COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City. The assessment 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.

“This project demonstrates the strong partnership between New Zealand and Vietnam,” said New Zealand's Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam, Joseph Mayhew. “This project is a practical initiative to help ease the economic impacts of COVID-19 on workers and their families. I am proud to say that through the Head of Embassy’s Fund, we have been able to support more than 3,000 women throughout Vietnam impacted by COVID-19 in the last 12 months.”

“Switzerland stands with Vietnam to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, Switzerland has delivered medical supplies worth $5.5 million to Vietnam. Today, the Swiss Embassy is pleased to announce our humanitarian contribution to support vulnerable groups in Ho Chi Minh City in joint partnership with Oxfam and SDRC,” said Vanessa Di Giorgi, diplomatic attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Vietnam.

“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 programme in Oxfam’s country strategy. Cash provision is the first line of critical and pragmatic support which offers people a maximum degree of choice, flexibility, and dignity. We will also do further research to identify priorities in supporting communities’ recovery from COVID-19 crisis,” said Pham Quang Tu, Oxfam in Vietnam’s deputy national director.

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