Youth-led 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-19 will be implemented in Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Tri provinces.
It was launched by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, with technical support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and funds from the Government of Japan.
The signing ceremony was held online in Hanoi on September 15 by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in collaboration with UNFPA Vietnam, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Provincial Youth Unions of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Tri.
Supporting young returning migrant workers is one of the most important components of the Project "Mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable population groups - Ensuring National Progress to Achieve SDGs in Vietnam", which is funded by the Government of Japan.
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-19 pandemic; 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 COVID-19 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. Some of them were forced to return to Vietnam, and when they are in their homeland, they 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 the provincial Youth Unions of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Tri to implement 29 youth-led initiatives. With a total fund of over 2 billion VND, 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.
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-19. He said: “The Secretariat of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union will instruct the Vietnam Youth Union’s relevant departments to closely collaborate with the provincial Youth Unions of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Tri to facilitate the implementation of the initiatives on job replacement and income generation, thus helping the returning migrant workers to settle down. For the initiatives’ beneficiaries, I encourage you to worker harder, to learn more and to apply advanced technologies in implementing the initiatives’ activities in order to utilise the financial resources in the most effective, reasonable and sustainable manner. I hope that you will soon overcome your difficulties and at the same time inspire your peers to follow suit.”
In her opening 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 COVID-19 pandemic.
Naomi Kitahara affirmed: “The risk of COVID-19 to youth and adolescent is often under-estimated. Yes, young people may have a stronger immune system, but it does not necessarily mean that they are not affected by the impact of COVID-19. It is important to recognise that young people have been confronted with multiple shocks including a disruption to education and employment; income loss; and greater difficulties in finding a job, and accessing health and other public services. Young international migrant workers are one of the hardest hits. Therefore, UNFPA commits to closely working with the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in the project: “Mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable population groups – Ensuring National Progress to Achieve SDGs in Vietnam”, funded by the Government of Japan.”
Attending the signing ceremony virtually, Daisuke Okabe, Minister of the Embassy of Japan in Vietnam, said: “The Government of 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’.”