Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has agreed to allocate over 130,000 tons of rice from the national food reserve to 24 cities and provinces to support people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a decision issued on August 20.
The move is carried out upon proposals put forth by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the Ministry of Finance.
The MoLISA said that more than 8.6 million people in the 24 provinces and cities in Vietnam need emergency food relief due to the impacts of the pandemic.
Under the decision, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh agreed to distribute the volume of rice to the southern provinces and cities, including Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Dong Thap, Tay Ninh, Ca Mau, Vinh Long, Long An, Kien Giang, Tra Vinh, Binh Duong, Ben Tre, An Giang, Tien Giang, Dong Nai, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, and Can Tho.
The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Dong Thap province received 10 tons of rice to support pandemic-hit people. Photo: Chuong Dai/VNA
The rice must be promptly delivered to eligible recipients in line with current regulations and Covid-19 control rules, stated the decision.
After this period, if people in these localities still experience difficulties, the MoLISA would ask the government for further support.
Earlier, on August 16, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh agreed to allocate more than 4,000 tons of rice from the national reserve to support pandemic-hit people in three provinces of Binh Phuoc, Bac Lieu, and Soc Trang.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed that to curb the Covid-19 fight, the country must succeed in achieving social distancing, and for that, all cities and provinces should ensure people do not lack food or shelter so they "stay where they are right now."
On August 17 afternoon, the HCMC People's Committee sent a written request to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, and the MoLISA for aid worth VND27,968 billion (US$1.2 million) and 142,200 tons of rice to support poor workers during the period of social distancing.
As of August 20, 18 among 19 southern provinces and cities that have implemented social distancing have received rice from the national reserve to aid people in need.
Vietnam, hit by a fourth Covid-19 wave, the most challenging it has faced since the pandemic started, in late April has confirmed 319,210 cases. HCMC is the epicenter with nearly 168,000 infections.
The Hanoi’s Party Committee on August 19 decided to donate 5,000 tons of rice to HCMC and 1,000 tons to the southern province of Binh Duong, which are the current largest Covid-19 epicenters of the country. The supports were the response to the call of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to assist HCMC and southern provinces in both human resources and materials.
Earlier, Hanoi presented a PRC testing system to HCMC and sent medical staff to the southern hub to work in sampling and testing.
Besides, the capital city also donated VND54 billion (US$2.34 million) to 18 southern cities and provinces, including Tien Giang, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Can Tho, Dong Nai, Tra Vinh, Kien Giang, Ca Mau, Tay Ninh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, An Giang, Hau Giang, Ben Tre, Dong Thap, Vinh Long and Long An.