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Seoul to provide emergency fund to foreigners

Seoul Metropolitan Government has secured a budget to provide foreigners with emergency financial aid package in the wake of the new corona virus infection.

Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday that the third supplementary budget bill for 2020 passed by Seoul Metropolitan Council included items for emergency living expenses for foreigners.

Since the city plans to secure the budget related to foreign disaster emergency living expenses from the disaster management fund’s relief account, which increased the budget by 50 billion won through the supplementary budget, the maximum amount of support in theory is 50 billion won.

According to the city, however, the number of foreigners registered in the city is around 300,000, and it is estimated that about 100,000 households will be eligible for support considering the average number of people per household. Emergency living expenses shall be paid on a household basis.

The city’s calculation is that the amount of support for foreign emergency financial-aid for living expenses will be around 30 billion won when the median income of less than 100 percent is expected to be applied, such as Koreans.

A city official said, “We did not include the amount in the extra budget plan. We will apply the same standards as Koreans to support the plan.”

Foreigners eligible for the application are those who register as foreigners and engage in income activities in Korea.

The decision was made following the decision of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea that the city’s exclusion of foreign residents from the list of disaster support funds was discrimination without reasonable reasons.

The NHRC recommended Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung to improve related policies on the 11th based on such judgments after receiving complaints from immigrant support groups and foreigners.

Photo: Courtesy of Yonhap News