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US announces $100k assistance to help Vietnam respond to Tropical Storm Linfa

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U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink on Saturday announced an initial US$100,000 in disaster relief funds to help the Southeast Asian nation deal with the consequences Tropical Storm Linfa.

These funds will be provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC) to address the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable communities in areas most affected by the storm, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said in a press release.

Making landfall on October 11, Linfa is the sixth tropical storm to have hit Vietnam in 2020.

Subsequently, Tropical Storm Nangka made landfall over northeastern Vietnam on Wednesday.

As of Thursday, the flooding had adversely affected over 136,000 households, resulting in at least 40 deaths, injuring 15 people, and leaving 29 people missing, according to the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority and American Red Cross.

In addition, 150,000 people have been evacuated and significant impacts on transportation networks and agricultural livelihoods have been reported.

USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance partner VNRC is on the frontlines of the response and has mobilized rapid disaster response teams, established and trained through ongoing USAID disaster risk reduction programs, to support evacuation, search and rescue, and emergency response operations.

“The U.S. mission in Vietnam expresses our deepest condolences to the people of Vietnam for the loss of life, destruction of property, and displacement of people due to the flooding in central Vietnam,” Ambassador Kritenbrink was quoted as saying in the press release.

“We stand together with the government and the people of Vietnam as they mourn their loved ones, address the damage caused by this terrible flood, and move forward, as the people of Vietnam have always done. We pledge to assist you in your work to rebuild.

“I would also like to express my concern for persons with disabilities in the provinces affected by the typhoon as they are amongst the most vulnerable populations in this disaster.

“They are often home-bound, have less access to information, and cannot take full advantage of preparedness activities and evacuation protocols.” 

It is estimated that the provinces impacted by Tropical Storm Linfa are home to over 200,000 people with disabilities, of whom 61,000 are directly affected by this disaster.

Since 2000, USAID, through the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, has provided more than $26 million in disaster response, preparedness, and risk reduction assistance in Vietnam.

Through the Department of Defense, the U.S. government has also supplied more than $28 million since 1998 to train military and civilian emergency responders while developing and equipping disaster management centers, maritime response centers, and disaster shelters at community levels.

USAID continues to support Vietnam’s disaster relief efforts and plans are underway to provide additional assistance.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20201017/us-announces-100k-assistance-to-help-vietnam-respond-to-tropical-storm-linfa/57307.html

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Health Ministry reports one more imported case of Covid-19

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Workers undergo temperature checks before work to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Vietnam’s Covid-19 infections jumped by one to reach 1,169 as of October 26 – PHOTO: HEALTH MINISTRY

HCMC – Vietnam’s Covid-19 infections jumped by one to reach 1,169 to date, with the latest patient being quarantined in northern Ninh Binh Province upon his arrival in the country, confirmed the Health Ministry.

The 57-year-old man is a resident in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. On October 16, he returned home from Russia on Flight VN5062 which landed at Van Don airport in Quang Ninh Province. The man is under quarantine and treatment at a medical clinic in Ninh Binh.

Earlier, 14 passengers boarding this flight had been confirmed as positive for Covid-19. They were also taken to quarantine facilities in Quang Ninh, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh provinces upon arrival.

As of this evening, October 26, the number of Covid-19 recoveries in the country was 1,061 while 35 other cases have died of the novel coronavirus.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/79129/health-ministry-reports-one-more-imported-case-of-covid-19.html

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Trial for BIDV case opens

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The defendants appear for their first-instance hearing at the Hanoi People’s Court today, October 26 – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – The Hanoi People’s Court on October 26 opened the first-instance hearing for 12 defendants, including eight leaders and employees of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), who were accused of allegedly causing losses of nearly VND1.7 trillion for the bank.

The accused comprise Tran Luc Lang and Doan Anh Sang, former deputy general directors of BIDV; Kieu Dinh Hoa, former director of BIDV’s Ha Tinh branch; Le Thi Van Anh, former head of the corporate client division at BIDV’s Ha Tinh branch; Pham Hong Quang, former head of BIDV’s customer service division; Ngo Duy Chinh, former director of BIDV’s Ha Thanh branch; Nguyen Xuan Giap, former deputy director of the branch and Dang Thanh Nam, an ex-official in charge of customer management at the branch. They were charged with allegedly violating regulations on banking operations and other activities relating to these operations.

Four others who were accused of abusing trust to appropriate assets consist of Tran Anh Quang and Dinh Van Dung, former general directors of Binh Ha Company; Doan Hong Dung, former director of Trung Dung Company and Nguyen Thi Thanh Son, former director of Ha Nam company and a capital contributor of Trung Dung Company.

The hearing is planned to last for 10 days, the local media reported.

BIDV former chairman Tran Bac Ha, who was said to be the mastermind, died while undergoing detention after a long illness.

According to the indictment, from 2011 to 2016, taking advantage of his position, Ha directed his subordinates at BIDV and its Ha Tinh and Ha Thanh branches to grant loans to the Binh Ha and Trung Dung companies with incentives that went against the regulations of the State Bank of Vietnam and BIDV although the two companies did not have enough financial capital to be eligible to borrow the loans.

BIDV Ha Tinh disbursed loans worth over VND2.6 trillion to Binh Ha Company and later failed to control the amount and the shareholders of Binh Ha used the money for improper purposes.

By November 2018, the company still owed the bank VND1.2 trillion, including nearly VND800 billion of irrecoverable debts.

Ha also asked the subordinates at BIDV’s Ha Thanh branch to approve 26 loans for Hanoi-based Trung Dung Company, causing damages worth more than VND864 billion.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/79123/trial-for-bidv-case-opens-.html

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PM orders stopping non-essential meetings to deal with upcoming storm

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) chairs a meeting this morning to discuss measures to cope with the powerful storm, Molave – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – At the National Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control’s meeting held this morning, October 26, to discuss measures to prepare for the powerful storm, Molave, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the ministries and local authorities to stop non-essential meetings, mobilize resources and urge localities to take action to mitigate the impact of the storm.

Vietnam, especially the central region, is facing overlapping storms and flooding. The upcoming storm Molave is forecast to pack strong winds at level 12, which could cause severe damage to the areas it passes through. Therefore, the leader of the Government stressed that ministries and local authorities must remain on high alert.

The prime minister ordered the competent agencies and local authorities to continue to make drastic moves in search and rescue operations as well as to provide prompt and effective support to the five central provinces hit by flooding.

In addition, local authorities must find ways to bring fishermen and their boats back to shore before the storm makes landfall, evacuate residents from landslide-prone areas as heavy rains, flooding and mountainous landslides could occur during the storm, he added.

Tran Quang Hoai, head of the Directorate for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, said at the meeting that if Molave makes landfall packing strong winds at level 12, authorities will have to evacuate more than 1.2 million residents.

Hoai added that 45,000 of the 65,000 fishing boats operating in high-risk areas have been notified of the storm. Competent agencies must urge the remaining boats to find shelter.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/79122/pm-orders-stopping-non-essential-meetings-to-deal-with-upcoming-storm.html

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