Vietnam will grant a financial support package of VND6.6 trillion ($287.4 million) to help migrant workers pay rent for up to three months.
The package will be given to 3.4 million people, Vu Trong Binh, head of the Employment Department under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, told a meeting in Hanoi on Wednesday.
He said the number is based on preliminary statistical analyses from local authorities, and that more workers can get access to the package later, he said.
As approved by the government, each worker will receive VND500,000-1 million each month over no more than three months.
Two groups of beneficiaries are those who have labor contracts and have had their employers extract their monthly salaries to pay social insurance premiums; and those that are currently working at industrial parks, export-processing zones and economic zones in 24 cities and provinces: Hanoi, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Vinh Phuc, and Bac Ninh in the north, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, and Binh Dinh in the central region, and Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Long An, Tien Giang, Can Tho, Ca Mau, An Giang and Kien Giang in the south.
In their applications for aid, workers must have the signature confirmation of their landlords.
The applications, after being submitted to employers, will be verified and approved by Vietnam Social Insurance, then the administration of districts and cities/provinces where the companies are registered.
The government had approved the labor ministry’s proposal to grant the package with the aim of luring workers back to industrial zones, in the context that the latest Covid-19 wave had caused many to leave cities for their hometowns.
Due to impacts of the wave, which hit Vietnam last April, many businesses were forced to shut down, and as many as 1.3 million migrants had returned to their hometowns between July and Sept. 15 last year, the General Statistics Office revealed.
Later, when the outbreak was brought under control across the industrial hubs of HCMC and neighboring provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai, all localities hit hardest by the fourth wave, social distancing measures were eased in early October, and another tens of thousands of migrant workers decided to leave for their hometowns.
In most cases, people explained they had run out of money after losing their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and that home was their safest bet. Besides, they were all afraid of yet another outbreak with restrictions loosened.
According to the latest data from the ministry, during the third quarter of last year, the number of employed laborers dropped to just more than 47.3 million, the lowest in a decade.
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