600 ethnic minority households affected by COVID-19 in Lao Cai province to receive cash support

600 households, of which 100% are poor and ethnic minority households, have so far received the grant. In case some residents were unable to attend the distribution, the grant will be sent to their homes via the local post office system.

The financial support is expected to help Lao Cai ethnic minority women ease their difficulties amid COVID-19.  Photo: UN Women/Long Duong

The province Lao Cai is a region disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, especially vulnerable ones who are women working in informal sectors and ethnic minorities. Consisting of 14.7% of Vietnam’s population, ethnic minority peoples account for 95% of the country’s extreme poor and 55.3% of the poor, according to 2018 report of Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and UNDP.

UN Women, in coordination with Lao Cai province Women's Union, implemented this cash delivery activity for ethnic minority women striken by COVID-19 in Lao Cai. The total funding of VND 1.38 billion came from UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust (UN COVID-19 MPTF).

600 households will receive the cash support with an estimated amount of VND 2.3 million per each household. The cash grant will help people buy food, necessities and invest in their livelihoods during the on-going pandemic. Most of them ethnic minority women, in four communes of Y Ty, Pa Cheo, Den Thang and Sang Ma Sao in Bat Xat District.

Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Representative of UN Women Vietnam, shared about the activity: “Emphasizing the principle of 'Leave No-one Behind', this initiative will hcomplement existing government assistance and address gaps in support for the most vulnerable and workers in the informal sector affected by COVID-19. Ethnic minority women in poor households in Lao Cai will be supported to continue their livelihood activities, job losses will be minimized; thereby reducing negative effects on families and women."

Within the framework of the 2020 National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention and Control of Gender-Based Violence, as well as the UN-initiated 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Women's Union of Lao Cai Province has organising communication activities on the prevention of violence against women and children in the context of COVID-19 for local people during the grant distribution.

Pham Tu