Ha Noi — Today the New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam and the East Meets West Foundation (EMWF) announced the launch of a new project to support vulnerable women living in Hai Duong province overcome the impacts of COVID-19. The New Zealand Embassy is providing 800 million VND (NZ$50,000) to support 270 households in 5 communes in Kim Mon district, Hai Duong province – a region hit hard by the pandemic earlier this year.
“This is the third COVID-19 relief project the New Zealand Embassy has supported and demonstrates the strong partnership between New Zealand and Vietnam,” said New Zealand Ambassador, H.E. Tredene Dobson. “This practical initiative will help ease the economic impacts of COVID-19 on women and their families. Certain groups have become more economically vulnerable during the pandemic, and we believe that this project will help families in Hai Duong to get back on their feet.”
Hai Duong province experienced a serious COVID-19 outbreak ahead of Tet, which had a significant impact on socio-economic development of Hai Duong. Farming families were especially impacted, due to a decline in food demand and major disruptions to exports from the region.;
According to the United Nations Analysis on the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Viet Nam, vulnerable populations continue to be strongly influenced by the long-term impacts of the pandemic. 87% of the women reported a decline in incomes resulting from the crisis, with growing concerns of rising unemployment and declining demand for products even after the crisis. Approximately 43% of the women are primary earners in their household, with an average income of US$ 7 per day (UN Women). Therefore, one of the top priorities is to support workers in the informal sector through economic recovery and response programs.
To empower vulnerable poor women to overcome difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, EMWF, in collaboration with the Women's Union of Hai Duong province, will support 270 poor and vulnerable women's households; priority is given to households with people with disabilities with the total number of beneficiaries expected to be 1,215 people in 5 communes of Kinh Mon district, Hai Duong province.
Through the project, vulnerable female-headed households will receive support to restore their livelihoods to improve incomes, especially when the situation is unstable. We will collaborate with agricultural economists to complete a need assessment better to understand the demand for agricultural products or services, thereby providing livelihood products such as seeds, breeds, fertilizer, or production tools that suitable to each family. In addition, these households will also receive financial hardship relief to support their purchase of necessities such as food, medicine, children's books, and tuition fees or/and healthcare services.
"Restoring livelihoods and empowering women is one of our main goals in our COVID-19 pandemic recovery projects, also reduces the socio-economic impact of the epidemic on vulnerable groups. We believe that this project, with cooperation with the Women's Union of Hai Duong province, vulnerable poor women families will have the opportunity to access resources for sustainable economic development and overcome the difficulties caused by the pandemic." Ms. Nguyen Hong Hanh, Country Director of East Meets West Foundation shared.