Japan, UNFPA Support Guest Workers Returning Home Due to Covid

This is one of the contents of the project "Mitigating the negative impacts of Covid-19 on vulnerable population groups - Ensuring National Progress to Achieve SDGs in Vietnam" which was conducted by UNFPA and funded by the Japanese government.
September 16, 2021 | 23:20
The signing ceremony was held online on Sep. 15.
The signing ceremony was held online on Sep. 15.

Initiatives on job replacement, income generation, provision of sexual and reproductive health knowledge and life skills for young international migrant workers who returned due to Covid will be implemented in Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Tri provinces by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, with technical support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and funds from the Government of Japan.

Supporting young returning migrant workers is one of the most important components of the project "Mitigating the negative impacts of Covid on vulnerable population groups - Ensuring National Progress to Achieve SDGs in Vietnam", which is funded by Japan, VNA reported on Sep. 15.

The project focuses on four main issues: gender-based violence; guality care for older people; sexual and reproductive health; and support to young returning international migrant workers in 14 provinces suffering from negative impacts of the Covid; namely Thai Nguyen, Dien Bien, Lao Cai, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh in the north; Da Nang, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, and Dak Lak in the central region; and An Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long and Ho Chi Minh city in the south.

Vietnam is one of those countries which have been suffering from severe socio-economic impacts due to the ongoing pandemic. Young people are among the vulnerable population groups. Young international migrant workers from the three provinces of Quang Tri, Nghe An and Ha Tinh are facing harder impacts because of the sudden changes in working conditions.

According to a survey report, up to 33.4% of labor export workers are poor and near-poor households.

Every year, the number of young people working abroad tends to increase rapidly over the years, but due to the impact of the pandemic, the number has gradually decreased. In Quang Tri, in 2019, the number of young people working abroad was 2,926; In 2020, the number of young people going to work abroad decreased, to only 1,290 people. Similarly, in Nghe An, the average per year from 2015 to 2019 is 13,000 people; and 11,000 people in 2020. Ha Tinh has an average of 8,000 laborers each year; but in 2020 there are only 6,900 people left.

According to statistics, currently, the number of young people participating in labor export returning due to the impact of the Covid in Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Tri is 4,560 people. Some of them again suffer from the local socio – economic difficulties. The situation becomes worst as it is not easy for them to reintegrate into their families, their communities, and the local labour market.

In order to support these young returning migrant workers, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union has assigned the Centre for Youth and Adolescents to collaborate with three provincial Youth Unions to implement 29 youth-led initiatives.

With a total fund of over VND 2 billion (USD 87.400), these initiatives will help provide these young returning migrant workers with job replacement, income generation, sexual and reproductive health and life skills from now until the end of March 2022.

Daisuke Okabe, minister of the embassy of Japan in Vietnam
Daisuke Okabe, minister of the embassy of Japan in Vietnam speaks at the event.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ngo Van Cuong, secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, emphasised the importance of the initiatives to support young international migrant workers who returned home due to the Covid. “The Secretariat of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union will instruct the Youth Union’s relevant departments to closely collaborate with the provincial Youth Unions to facilitate the implementation of the initiatives on job replacement and income generation, thus helping the returning migrant workers to settle down.”

In her remarks, Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative for Vietnam highly appreciated the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union’s efforts to contribute to mitigating the negative impacts of the pandemic.

Kitahara stressed that young international migrant workers are one of the hardest hits. UNFPA commits to closely working with the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in the project, funded by the Government of Japan.

Attending the signing ceremony virtually, Daisuke Okabe, minister of the embassy of Japan in Vietnam, said: “Japan is honoured to be able to support these initiatives which contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals’ philosophy of ‘leave no one behind’.”

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