Returnees from pandemic areas receive support

Friday, 2021-10-15 17:24:40
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The delegation of the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Krong Pac District (Dak Lak province) visit and present gifts to people returning from southern provinces and being quarantined at home.
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NDO - Many workers from the Central Highlands region working in southern provinces have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have had to return to their hometown due to their difficulties. The reluctant “repatriation” of tens of thousands of workers has created considerable pressure for local authorities in the prevention of the pandemic and ensuring social security both in the immediate and long term.

With the care and appropriate policies of the local authorities in the Central Highlands region, workers returning from pandemic-hit areas have gradually overcome their difficulties and stabilised their lives.

Both happiness and sadness on return day

Since early October, more than 60,000 workers have returned to the Central Highlands from the southern provinces with about 20,000 workers making the journey home to Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Gia Lai. Therefore, localities have raised concerns about pandemic prevention and control in addition to medical care, social security and order.

Many provinces have had to use schools, army barracks, halls, communal houses and others to serve as quarantine facilities.

Those who have returned to their hometowns are mostly poor labourers and ethnic minorities who work seasonally. They faced more difficulties during social distancing because they lost their jobs and had no income but still had to spend money on accommodation and daily living expenses. Many workers came back home almost empty-handed.

Tran Dinh Luc, a 66 year old man from Pleiku city, Gia Lai province was a security guard for a leather shoe company in Binh Duong province. He lived alone in Binh Duong and was stuck in the province due to the social distancing order and ran out of money.

Coming back home after the quarantine period, he was worried about finding a new job and was luckily accepted by a company in Pleiku city to work as a security guard. “I'm old, so going back to my hometown is the best choice. I was brought home by the provincial authorities and found a suitable job during this pandemic, quite lucky,” Luc said.

Luc is among the many others returning to the Central Highlands region struggling to find new jobs and settle down after months of unemployment.

Caring about and creating jobs for workers

More than ever, ensuring social security and creating jobs for these workers has become an urgent task for governments at all levels, requiring the joint efforts of the entire political system.

Deputy Director of Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs of Lam Dong province Bui Quang Son said that the province will direct the local Job Centre to promote the connection between labour supply and demand through job portals, newsletters, websites, and mass media. In addition, mobile job exchange floors will be held in localities to connect workers with enterprises while implementing policies on unemployment insurance to support workers who lose or quit their jobs”.

The last three months of the year are the time to harvest coffee, pepper, rubber and other materials in the Central Highlands region, something which requires a huge amount of labour. This is also a good time for localities to attract freelance workers returning to localities, creating jobs and an immediate income for them.

“Gia Lai province currently has tens of thousands of ha of rubber trees that need to be harvested, which can take up to four million man-days. This is also an opportunity for workers to find jobs,” said Deputy Director of Gia Lai Province Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Tran Thanh Hai.

To ease difficulties for returnees, many localities in the Central Highlands have actively used their local budget and called for aid from benefactors to pay the quarantine costs of returnees.

“People are almost exhausted financially and mentally when they decide to return to the hometown. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the localities to do everything possible to help people overcome these difficulties and stabilise their lives in the short term,” Vice Chairman of the Gia Lai Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Thi Thanh Lich said.

Chairman of Dak Lak Provincial People's Committee Pham Ngoc Nghi also affirmed that “The viewpoint of Dak Lak province is to pay special attention to supporting returnees in all aspects and make every effort to ensure social security, create jobs, and help them soon to settle down in their homeland.”

In the past few days, as life has come back to a new normal, many southern provinces and cities have begun to call on workers to return to work. Central Highlands localities are also working with southern provinces on appropriate solutions to help workers.