The recent new COVID-19 infections in the community forced Vietnam to once again urgently implement anti-epidemic measures. The functional forces have quickly made the best plans and the most prompt and accurate measures to control the epidemic soon, with the hope to create favourable conditions for people to celebrate a safe and warm Tet holiday.
Looking back to 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic developed complicatedly, spreading and breaking out in many countries around the world, negatively affecting the global economy. In the country, the pandemic has had negative impacts on many aspects of the economic and social fields and the people’s lives, especially among poor and ethnic minority people. Many enterprises, business households and cooperatives had to suspend their operation and reduce their production scale, leading to an increase of unemployment, poor people and those who are living in difficult circumstances. The last year also witnessed unusual developments of natural disasters around the country, especially floods and landslides in some central and northern mountainous provinces and severe drought and saline intrusion, affecting the implementation of the targets and goals of sustainable poverty reduction.
In the context of global response to the pandemic, Vietnam has become a bright spot in the world as the country successfully control the epidemic in various aspects while recovering and maintaining socio-economic development. Vietnam was also one of the few economies with positive growth in 2020. In addition, the country strived to fulfil the goals of poverty reduction in the 2016-2020 period, with the rate of poor households decreasing from 9.88% in 2015 to 2.75% in 2020, reaching the goal set by the National Assembly and Government. The agencies at all levels and people have made great efforts to respond to the movement entitled “The whole country joins hands for the poor - No one is left behind". The poverty escape movements have been implemented around the world with many examples. As a result, the income as well as material and spiritual lives of poor people have been improved significantly. Essential socio-economic infrastructure and linkage of poor areas are prioritised for step-by-step investment, changing the face of poor and extremely difficult areas.
In response to the epidemic, the Government issued Resolution No.42/NQ-CP, dated April 9, 2020, and the Prime Minister issued Decision No.15/2020/QD-TTg, dated April 24, 2020, on measures and policies to support people facing difficulties due to COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report of the State Treasury of Vietnam, by the end of 2020, over VND12.8 trillion had been allocated to support 12,917,600 people and 30,569 business households. In addition, Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and its member organisations, provinces and cities mobilised a donation of over VND5.8 trillion from businesses, agencies, domestic and international organisations and individuals.
While the whole country must implement social distancing due to the epidemic and central provinces have suffered heavy losses due to natural disasters, the spirit of mutual support of Vietnamese people has been upheld. The setting of charity stalls, rice ATMs around the country to help the poor and the underprivileged people during the outbreak of COVID-19 as well as groups of volunteers going into the flood-hit areas regardless of difficulties.
The Tet Festival is coming. During these days, local leaders visited and presented gifts to policy beneficiaries and people affected by natural disasters and COVID-19 pandemic. These meaningful activities need to ensure the right subjects, openness and transparency and avoid duplication. It is necessary to ensure the care for policy beneficiaries who are at nursing facilities and social assistance facilities.
People believed that with the drastic participation of the whole political system, agencies at all levels and localities and the consensus among people under the leadership of the Party and State, the country will conquer the epidemic and celebrate the Tet Festival will be full of joy and happiness.