Lao Cai: VND1.3 billion provided to support ethnic minority women affected by COVID-19

Friday, 2020-12-04 16:09:41
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The financial support is expected to help Lao Cai ethnic minority women ease their difficulties amid COVID-19. (Photo: UN Women)
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NDO – Around 600 disadvantaged households and ethnic minorities in four communes of Lao Cai Province badly affected by the COVID-19 epidemic have received financial assistance worth VND1.38 billion for the purchase of necessities and to invest in their livelihoods.

The activity is a joint effort of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the Lao Cai Provincial Women's Union to support people in need, most of them ethnic minority women, in four communes of Y Ty, Pa Cheo, Den Thang and Sang Ma Sao in Bat Xat District.

The support package comes from the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (COVID-19 MPTF).

The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing order have had negative impacts on the livelihoods of many people, especially the most vulnerable groups, including women, workers in the informal sector and ethnic minorities.

Lao Cai has also been heavily affected by the pandemic, as income from tourism has declined dramatically due to the sudden drop in tourist arrivals, forcing locals to migrate to seek additional incomes. In addition, the customs of ethnic minority communities such as the Mong, Dao, and Ha Nhi on the role of housework for women also increase their burden.

Against such a backdrop, UN Women collaborated with the Lao Cai Provincial Women's Union to provide cash assistance to local ethnic women affected by COVID-19. Each household received an allowance of VND2.3 million to improve their living conditions, buy food and necessities and invest in their livelihoods amid the complex developments of the epidemic.

A Lao Cai woman receives the financial support from the organisers. (Photo: UN Women)

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.

Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Chief Representative of UN Women in Vietnam, said that with the principle of “No one left behind”, this initiative would help complement existing supports from the Government for the most vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19, thereby reducing somewhat the loss of income and easing the negative impacts 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.