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Case Study

Addressing Negative Socioeconomic Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic through Social Protection in Viet Nam – Supporting incomes and livelihoods with cash assistance in Dong Nai province

14 February 2024 — By FAO

In late April 2021, Viet Nam faced its fourth wave of COVID-19, with over 895 000 new cases reported. COVID-19 and related restrictions hindered livelihood options and vulnerable households faced financial stress to cover basic needs. Some of them lost their income and were unable to return to home villages for a certain period of time. In addition, many people living in vulnerable households did not qualify for government social security assistance.

Between November and December 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) implemented an intervention to assist around 650 vulnerable households in the context of the programme on Scaling up Forecast-based Financing/Early Warning Early Action (FbF/EWEA) and Shock Responsive Social Protection for disaster resilience in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). FAO delivered one unconditional cash transfer leveraging certain components of the national social protection system, namely the cash delivery mechanism and the national database on social assistance and poverty reduction to identify beneficiaries.

This promising practice documents the intervention which aimed to help households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions to cover their basic needs, including households already benefiting from existing social assistance and non-beneficiary households. More specifically, this intervention sought to improve food security and prevent vulnerable households from resorting to negative coping mechanisms.