We asked our teams on the ground in Vietnam to provide us with some updates in their regions that we could provide to everyone.
They were kind enough to give us very informative answers to some questions we had below.
What impacts are you experiencing from COVID-19 in your country since your last update?
As of April 28, 2020, Vietnam has had:
270 confirmed cases
Hanoi is currently the most-affected city with 112 confirmed cases
More than 213,000 tests have been performed:
No cases continue to be identified in Cao Bang, Hoa Binh, Nghe An, or Yen Bai provinces where Hagar is implementing capacity building, economic empowerment and prevention projects
Many provinces continue to mandate a no-Hanoi visitor rule
Nghe An and Yen Bai province informed Hagar that we can begin to visit as of next week, pending no new infections
Social distancing was relaxed almost one week ago, with the following changes:
Some restaurants and businesses have opened
Bars, karaoke bars, massage parlors, sidewalk cafes, religious gatherings, celebrations, cultural events, etc. remain closed and/or forbidden
Citizens must continue to wear face masks whenever they are outside
Temperature testing and hand sanitizers continue to be provided prior to entry into buildings, etc.
Groups of 20 or more persons cannot congregate outside
Schools may open for high school children May 3,2020 – each school to establish social distancing protocols, in coordination with Ministry of Education and commune/district officials
What has the impact of COVID-19 been on survivors since your last update? (considering physical, mental, emotional, basic needs, and economic impacts)
Since our last update:
• Hagar clients continue to require additional support: counselling, emergency assistance, and career planning for after COVID-19.
• Hagar partners continue to provide emergency food assistance and COVID-19 information sessions to improve preventive measures in rural and remote communities
• Hagar is partnering with a HCM-city partner to provide case management in close consultation with Hagar’s case manager team leader to a complex client case, referred to by US Embassy Consulate. This and future clients will be funded by the US Government
What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the ability to deliver Hagar’s core work, since your last update? (i.e. what additional pressures are you now facing?)
• Hagar has continued to plan for post-COVID times to deliver projects, directly and indirectly, through partners across 5 Hagar International strategic goals
• Nghe An authorities have relaxed travel regulations from their provincial capital to the village level. Therefore, the Animal Bank (funded through HAUS) project capacity development by Ministry of Rural Development training (animal husbandry) can commence at the village level
• Communications with UNTF Yen Bai and Nghe An partners – the Women’s Unions – confirmed with changes in travel restrictions (i) Nghe An UNTF project launch scheduled May 20, 2020 (ii) scheduling for provincial, commune, and frontline training being progressed (iii) baseline data collection and training participant needs assessments scheduled (iv) revised work plan and budget if/once approved by UNTF can achieve activities in 36 months, provided re-emergency of COVID or other pandemic does not arise.
The Vietnam Case Managers also provided us with an update with one of long-time Hagar clients, Mai*.
The COVID epidemic, with its devastating effects, continues to and makes it difficult for many of Hagar’s clients – who have already been dealing with many challenges in life.
Mai is one of the first clients that Hagar received when we first started working in Vietnam. She has been suffering from trauma caused by domestic violence, Mai, with Hagar’s companion, gradually escaped the ghost of her painful past to become more independent and self-sufficient in her life. Thank to Hagar, Mai had the opportunity to receive vocational training and is currently working at a restaurant. Although the work is hard, and her income is not high, Mai works very hard to earn enough money to raise her high-school son. However, the pandemic outbreak caused her to be unable to afford the their living costs. She has to live in panic every day, and worries about whether she and her son will have food to eat tomorrow.
Although the case has been closed for nearly 2 years, Hagar’s mission is “The Whole Journey”, and because of this, the case manager followed up on Mai’s situation during the epidemic. Knowing the difficulty she was facing, Hagar quickly subsidized nutrition to ensure the Mai and her son’s physical and mental well-being. Particularly, understanding the stress and fears of being unemployed, the case manager provided Mai with information about government support packages and guided her on how to prepare and submit the administrative documents to receive this support. Thanks to the companion and guidance of Hagar, Mai was relieved and less tense about the economic burden when she finished her registration for the government support package.
“Lucky” – a short, simple word but it’s enough to express Mai’s feeling when she received the timely support from Hagar during the dark days of the epidemic.
*Mai’s name was changed to protect her identity