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Vietnam PM Approves Disaster Aid of $4.3m, 1,000 Tons of Rice for Worst-Hit Provinces

After days of being battered by adverse weather conditions, provinces in central Vietnam need all the help they can get, financial and otherwise.

On October 19, Zing reports, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc chaired an official meeting of the central government on the flooding and landslides in central Vietnam and how disaster relief efforts are going.

Since the beginning of October, non-stop downpours have wreaked havoc on Quang Nam, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Ha Tinh provinces.

According to statistics from the Vietnam Government Portal, from October 6 to 20, the natural disaster resulted in 111 deaths and 22 people missing. Quang Tri recorded the most fatalities, with 49 victims, while Thua Thien-Hue has the most missing persons, with 15 people from the Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plant landslide still not found.

As of today, the water has partially receded in some localities, but still not enough to reconnect roads or ease relief efforts.

At the government meeting, PM Phúc approved a proposal to provide each of the five provinces with 1,000 tons of rice. He ordered the Ministry of Finance to release the rice aid on the same day, as well as other vessels and equipment to assist with relief efforts.

The PM also greenlit a decision to support each of the five most-affected provinces with VND100 billion (US$4.3 million). The money will come from the Central Reserve Fund, which is currently worth VND10.217 trillion (US$439 million).

Outside of official funding, Vietnamese from across the country and overseas have contributed to many relief funds, big and small, to help flood victims. Most notably, pop singer Thủy Tiên confirmed earlier this week that she has raised VND100 billion from thousands of donations over one week. Tiên was among the first celebrities to travel to the affected areas to distribute care packages and cash handouts.

On October 18, Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, VASCO and Bamboo Airways announced that they would waive transportation fees for relief goods from Hanoi and Saigon headed to localities in central Vietnam.