ASEAN strengthens cooperation to mitigate COVID-19 impact on vulnerable groups

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HANOI: The ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD) was held online on Wedneday with the aim of mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

Attending the event were 10 ministers in charge of social welfare and social development in ASEAN member states and the ASEAN Secretary-General.

Vietnam’s Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung appreciated the efforts of Laos and the ASEAN Secretariat in hosting the video conference.

This is a practical initiative that helps implement effectively the outcomes of the online Special ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Summits on COVID-19 as well as the Chairman’s Statement on ASEAN collective response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Dung said.

He shared the pandemic has affected all people in the society, especially workers, the poor and those from vulnerable groups. The Vietnamese government provided a social aid package worth over 62 trillion VND (about US$2.7 billion) in support of 20 million people, including the elderly, sick people, and low-income earners.

He called on ASEAN member nations to strengthen coordination at both national and regional levels in promoting social welfare and response to crises, disasters and diseases to ensure no one is left behind.

The minister expressed his belief that with the attention of top leaders and regional-level policy actions, ASEAN will soon overcome this difficult time to recover the economy and build a cohesive and responsive community.

At the video conference, ASEAN ministers shared policies and programmes supporting people, especially those from vulnerable groups.

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They agreed to pass a joint statement on mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups in ASEAN.

– BERNAMA

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