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Germany provides financial support for Lao garment workers

Nearly 21,000 garment workers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic have received emergency financial support totalling over 18.6 billion kip (about US$1.85 million).
Each worker has received 900,000 kip (about US$85).
The funding support was provided by the government of Germany through the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
An event to close the garment workers’ income support programme in response to the effects of the pandemic took place both online and onsite on Wednesday.
Speaking at the event, Director General of the Lao Social Security Organisation (SSO), Ms Keo Chanthavoxay, said 20,698 employees at 47 garment factories had received financial support.
The money was provided in a single aid package and was disbursed from March to October this year.
The project was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development with technical support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The money has helped workers who have lost income and is supporting business continuity while reducing employers’ staff turnover costs.
The money has been provided to both qualified and under-qualified garment workers who are not members of the Social Security Organisation or who have paid a monthly premium over a period of less than 12 months.
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Padeumphone Sonthany, said “This emergency funding has helped us by providing the necessary support to garment workers during this difficult period and has reinforced the SSO payment system.”
Director of the ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, Mr Graeme Buckley, said “This project has taken place in conjunction with the existing SSO system and has helped to reduce administration costs and accelerate the implementation time.”
“To disburse the money, the SSO has transferred funds through mobile networks for those who don’t have a bank account.”
Throughout the ILO Version Zero Fund the project has supported the Lao Garment Association to strengthen health and safety conditions in garment factories and their dormitories where workers are accommodated.
It is also providing equipment and cleaning items for Covid-19 prevention as well as funding a quarantine centre for garment workers.
The garment sector employs about 26,000 workers. It has been hit hard by the pandemic with many factories scaling back production, releasing staff, and in some cases closing their doors, according to a press release from the ILO.
 


 

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update November 29, 2021)



 


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