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Providing Emergency Food in Vietnam During the Pandemic


As the COVID-19 health crisis continues across the globe, Samaritan’s Purse remains on the frontlines in the effort to help alleviate suffering during this challenging time. Our teams in Vietnam recently worked with local partners to provide more than 5.5 metric tons of food for families struggling to make ends meet because their income source has been eliminated due to the pandemic.

During the emergency food distributions our staff met 100-year-old Tham, who lives alone in the slums in a small shack held together by cracked metal sheets. Her only possessions include a plastic table and a few boxes of personal items, and she sleeps on a mat spread out across the boxes.

Tham’s son died nearly 20 years ago and her daughter has worked in another country since before his death.

Tham used to earn money to pay her rent by selling items such as keychains and pens at a local market. However, as social distancing protocols and travel restrictions became the norm, the market had to close, leaving Tham without a means of providing for herself.

“I’ve foraged wild plants and snails from the river for food,” Tham said.

In recent months Tham has relied on people giving her food and whatever she can scrounge up in the nearby river. Tham cried when she received the food package from Samaritan’s Purse.

“Thank you, Samaritan’s Purse. No one has cared for me this much,” she said.

The food package, which included items such as rice, noodles, peanuts, fish sauce, cooking oil, salt, canned fish, and milk, will help to sustain Tham for about two months and provide a much more nutritious diet than what she has been consuming.

Tham’s neighbours in the slum were also very grateful for the Samaritan’s Purse emergency food. One of her neighbours is Ba, a-71-year-old who devotes much of her time to caring for her son who is mentally disabled. Although Ba works hard collecting plastic and paper trash on the streets to sell to a recycler, the income isn’t enough during the pandemic.

“I had to use our savings to pay rent this month,” Ba said. “Without this help from Samaritan’s Purse, we would not survive.”

Please pray for Tham and Ba and the many families who are hurting due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. Please pray for Samaritan’s Purse teams in Vietnam and around the world as they continue demonstrating God’s love to people in need.

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