The poor look out for peers in Covid-19 times

By Minh Trang, Pham Nga   April 18, 2020 | 03:30 pm GMT+7

The poor look out for peers in Covid-19 times

A lottery ticket vendor (R) receives a bag of free lunch from a charity kitchen in Ho Chi Minh City, April 17, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
At many donation distribution sites in Vietnam, poor people crippled by Covid-19 are thankful and won’t take more than they need.

Last Friday afternoon, two women walked to a charity booth at 420 Lac Long Quan Street in Hanoi.

One of them took the donated food items and walked off immediately.

The other, a slim woman in her mid-thirties, hesitated after receiving her gift pack.

She stood silently for a while, an envelope in her hand. After she’d gathered enough courage, she walked towards Dao Tuan Hung, who was managing the booth. She pressed the envelope into his hand.

“I immediately told her it was a free present, but she said that it was not money. She left quickly after giving me the envelope,” Hung said.

Inside was a handwritten letter.

“Dear ladies and gentlemen.

I have been an unemployed worker since the Covid-19 disease hit the country, the people and the government’s 16th decree (national social distancing campaign) to ensure the lives of people and the community. I sold things for a living but had to stop and paying rent has become difficult. I came across Lac Long Quan Street and found this place which distributes rice and noodles.

Tiếp tục đọc “The poor look out for peers in Covid-19 times”

‘Rice ATM’ feeds Vietnam’s poor amid virus lockdown

HO CHI MINH CITY (Reuters) – A Vietnamese entrepreneur in Ho Chi Minh City has invented a 24/7 automatic dispensing machine providing free rice for people out of work following an ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Rice ATM' feeds Vietnam's poor amid virus lockdown By Reuters

Vietnam has reported 262 COVID-19 cases, and no deaths so far, but as a result of a 15-day social distancing programme that began on March 31 many small businesses have been shuttered and thousands of people temporarily laid off from work.

Nguyen Thi Ly’s husband was among those who have lost their job. Tiếp tục đọc “‘Rice ATM’ feeds Vietnam’s poor amid virus lockdown”

Rich-poor gap in Vietnam epitomised by Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where people live in poverty next to banks and boutiques

  • In Hanoi’s moneyed commercial centre, corporate HQs and luxury shops sit steps from the homes of people living in tiny rooms too small to stand up in
  • After the Vietnam war ended in 1975, people were given small spaces to live in with the hope of larger housing in the future – dreams that never came true
Hoang Van Xuan in the 5-square-metre mouldy attic that he calls his home. He works as a delivery man and motorbike taxi driver, but as the popularity of bike-sharing platforms explodes, he can barely make ends meet. Photo: Sen Nguyen
Hoang Van Xuan in the 5-square-metre mouldy attic that he calls his home. He works as a delivery man and motorbike taxi driver, but as the popularity of bike-sharing platforms explodes, he can barely make ends meet. Photo: Sen Nguyen

“If anyone offered me a bigger house in exchange for my leg, I would give it to them in a heartbeat,” says Vietnamese delivery man Hoang Van Xuan, a 56-year-old who lives in a tiny decrepit attic in Hanoi, in the moneyed commercial centre known as the Old Quarter.

Tiếp tục đọc “Rich-poor gap in Vietnam epitomised by Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where people live in poverty next to banks and boutiques”

GDP growth benefits for the poor lessening: economist

VietNamNet Bridge – The gap between the top 20 percent of the richest people and the lowest 20 per cent of the poor in Vietnam was 4.4 times in 1993, but the figure was 10 times in 2016. 

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The real figure could be even higher as it is now difficult to measure the wealth of the rich, according to the Mekong Development Institute.

Dr Phung Duc Tung, head of the Mekong Development Institute, said that the high GDP growth rate that Vietnam has always been striving for will not solve all the problems in the country.

Tung said the GDP growth rate is an important index that measures the development of the economy, but it is also necessary to think about who will benefit from growth. Tiếp tục đọc “GDP growth benefits for the poor lessening: economist”