HCM City Plans to Spend Nearly $350M to Support the Needy after Sep 15

Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City Chairman Phan Van Mai said there are about two million households with 5.3 million people in need of welfare support in HCM City. On behalf of the HCM City People’s Committee, the Chairman proposed financial support of VND750,000/person/month for the needy after September 15 (when the current social distancing may end), totaling nearly VND8 billion ($347 million). The aid will be managed by technological applications and the city will transfer the money directly to people’s banking accounts, Mai said. He asked relevant agencies to submit the list of needy families before September 15. This VND8 trillion support package will be implemented after September 15. In the short term, the aid will be provided in two months – September and October. The HCM City Chairman noted that the longer the social distancing is, the more problems related to people’s lives and psychology will arise. He asked the police to control the situation to ensure security and order. HCM City has launched many relief packages to support locals and businesses struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, and has vowed to make future ones more easily accessible. The most recent social relief covered about one million self-employed people and 1.3 million struggling households which received VND1.5 million in cash and gifts. HCM City is the country’s COVID-19 epicenter with over 258,000 cases found. Millions have lost jobs or had their incomes greatly reduced. The HCM City Department of Industry and Trade has proposed changing the operating hours of stores, supermarkets and shippers to ensure the timely supply of goods and distribution of goods to the people. Accordingly, supermarkets, convenience stores, and food stores as well as shippers should be allowed to open and work from 6am to 9pm instead of 6am to 6pm. At present, shippers can only deliver goods within one district. (VietnamNet)