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S. Korea to Provide Emergency Disaster Relief Funds to 70% of Households

Written: 2020-03-30 15:16:45Updated: 2020-03-30 18:45:40

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: To lend a helping hand to South Koreans hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Moon Jae-in administration says it will offer emergency disaster relief payments to 70 percent of households in the country. A four-person household eligible for the one-off cash support will receive one million won, or some eight-hundred-17 U.S. dollars.
Choi You Sun has the details.

Report: President Moon Jae-in announced on Monday the government's one-off disaster aid program for a majority of South Koreans struggling to make ends meet amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"In cooperation with local governments, the central government has decided to provide emergency disaster relief assistance of one million won to every four-person household with a gross income staying at or below 70 percent of the total, including the middle-class. Considering the urgent need for the funds, the government will promptly submit a second extra budget bill to the National Assembly to have it passed shortly after the April 15 general elections."

Seoul plans to finance the biggest disaster aid to date, estimated at around ten trillion won, through a second supplementary budget along with regional governments' contributions. 

Some 14 million households, or 36 million people, with a monthly average income of seven-point-12 million won or less, are expected to receive the relief money.

Four-person households eligible for the support will get one million won, or around 817 U.S. dollars, while five-person households will get more, and single- to three-person households receive less. 

[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"The government decided to provide the aid despite the financial burden to assist people struggling to make ends meet and considering the need to comfort and support South Koreans who have made personal sacrifices to overcome this crisis. As the pandemic begins to ease, the aid will also encourage spending to help revitalize the domestic economy."

Stressing that uncertainties remain over the scope of the global economic fallout from the pandemic and how long the damage will last, Moon urged officials to secure maximum financial capacity to deal with the unexpected.

The president also said his administration would ease the burden on low-income families, small businesses and the self-employed for four social insurances and electricity fees. Effective from this month, the groups will receive fee reductions or payment postponement.  

The four insurances include health insurance, national pension, employment insurance and industrial accident compensation insurance.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

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