Deputy PM asks for readiness for disaster response

The project aims to improve public awareness and organise the community based on a disaster risk management model at all levels, so that communal authorities can minimize human losses and property damage. The project will be put into action within 12 years from 2009 to 2020 in 6,000 villages at a cost of more than VND988 billion. By 2020, the project will have put in place plans to prevent natural disasters and effective ways to help local people avoid disasters. Around 70 percent of villages which are often hit by natural disasters will be equipped with more knowledge on storm and flood prevention and control and how to deal with natural disasters. The project will also set up a map tracking possible natural disasters, and handbooks on how to cope with and overcome the consequences of disasters. In addition, every year, villages will hold drills on disaster prevention and control, and establish early warning systems.... [read more]

At the Vietnam National Forum on Reducing the Risk of Disasters and Adapting to Climate Change in Hanoi on October 7, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said that the State and people work together to prevent and combat natural disasters. The work involves the effective use of State funds and mobilizing every resource from the community, local and foreign individuals to organizations. Vietnam has co-signed and implemented the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Treaty on Climate Change, the Hyodo Framework for Action, and the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. Speaking at the opening of the forum, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlstrom, commended Vietnam for its increasing awareness of investment in weather-related issues. Australian Ambassador Allaster Cox cited studies saying that for every US$1 invested in reducing the risk of disasters around US$7 is saved, due to reduced recovery costs. The diplomat appreciated Vietnam ’s efforts to deploy the Community-Based Disaster Risk Management projects in over 6,000 communes by 2020 and stated that his government had pledged to work with the country to achieve this. Upon hearing of the tragic loss of life, as well as the damage to property and the region’s infrastructure, caused by Typhoon Ketsana in Vietnam , Australia announced a grant of US$1 million to support the Vietnam Red Cross and NGOs operating on the ground to provide essential services needed by those affected. Over the past five years, natural disasters have claimed the lives of…... [read more]

The campaign was launched on May 5, 2009 via press agencies, television and radio stations in Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Hue, Quang Tri, Ben Tre and Tien Giang. This is one of the three most effective communication projects in Asia, which have helped improve citizens’ awareness of natural disasters as well as strengthen information sharing and co-operation between non-governmental organizations and State management agencies. Through the campaign, JANI has established a network of reporters across the country who have a chance to conduct fact-finding in regions hit by natural disasters and to meet and exchange experiences with domestic and foreign experts in the field of disaster prevention and mitigation. JANI is a project funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department.... [read more]

The seminar, held on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference, was co-chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen and Deputy Minister Nguyen Thai Lai. “Despite the adverse impact of climate change such as rising sea level and natural disasters, the Government of Vietnam pledged to cope with the phenomena effectively by executing its National Target Programme on Climate Change with assistance provided by donors and the international community,” said Mr. Nguyen. At the seminar, representatives from the Ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Science and Technology, presented reports on the real situation of climate change in Vietnam and the country’s policies and strategies to mitigate its impact. Worthy of note were issues regarding rising sea levels, management of natural disaster risks, management and protection of forests, how to seek funding for the implementation of the National Target Programme on Climate Change, the possibility of wind and solar energy development, and experiences in cooperation with international and non-governmental organisations. The same day, Mr. Nguyen had a meeting with Luxembourg’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Marie Josee Jacobs. He told the Luxembourg minister that Vietnam is forecast to suffer far-reaching effects of climate change and likely to lose up to 40 percent of its area in the Mekong delta region – the country’s main granary. Ensuring food security for Vietnam means ensuring food security for the world because Vietnam is capable of providing rice for an additional 100 million…... [read more]

Neil R. Britton, a senior expert on natural disaster risk management from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said his bank has given top priority to natural disaster control programme and is ready to cooperate with social and non-government organisations. From 1987 to 2009, ADB disbursed over US$9.6 billion in aid to Asian countries to cope with natural calamities, including 19 percent in relief aid, 45 percent in control programmes and 36 percent in resettlement. The biggest development bank in the continent has funded 11 relevant projects worth over US$ 428 million for Vietnam during the above-mentioned period. The three-day workshop co-sponsored by Hue Economic University, the University of Delhi, India, and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, Belgium, is part of the Microdis project, short for ‘micro analysis of disasters’. The project aims to strengthen prevention, mitigation and preparedness strategies in order to reduce the impact of any natural disasters on health, social and economic developments in Asia.... [read more]

The conference provided a good opportunity for environmentalists from Vietnam, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Australia and India to share knowledge, information, technologies and scientific research on hydrology and water resources in the global context of climate change. The event also aimed to boost scientific cooperation in hydrology and water resources and contribute opinions on the major topics for the 2008-2013 period, put forward by the International Hydrological Programme. In his speech, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Nguyen Thai Lai, said that as host country, Vietnam will take initiatives and contribute to the APHW’s joint efforts to cope with climate change. Participants discussed issues on climate change and hydrology, the impact of climate change on water sources and adaptation measures, integrated water resources management, disaster risk reduction and climate change. The two-day conference was held by the Scientific Institute of Hydrometeorology and the Environment in collaboration with the National Committee for the International Hydrological Programme and the APHW.... [read more]

Participants said that private businesses are one of the State’s important partners in controlling community-based natural disaster risks, thus benefiting society and the businesses themselves. They also proposed solutions to encourage more businesses to get involved in natural disaster control and mitigation and offer incentives for businesses to make positive contributions to disaster risk reductions. MARD Deputy Minister, Dao Xuan Hoc highlighted the capacity of businesses as they boast great economic potential and hold thorough knowledge on disaster risk reduction and control. Mr Hoc also underlined the need for business communities to help promote capacity in natural disaster prone areas. Every year, Vietnam is adversely affected by different kinds of natural disasters, in which storms and floods cause the greatest losses. Six storms, four major floods and record hot spells hit Vietnam last year, claming the lives of 378 people, damaging more than 480,000 houses with a total loss estimated at more than VND16,000 billion.... [read more]

The funds were raised by the Vietnamese Government and people to help communities in the damaged areas overcome the consequences of the disaster and strengthen the friendship between the two countries and their people. Six hundred tornadoes and storms in the US in April this year have killed 310 people in seven southern states. In Alabama, the hardest-hit state, 210 people were killed and another 1,700 injured. Over the years, the American Red Cross has worked side by side with the Vietnamese Red Cross in supporting the organisation’s charitable activities, especially in a project on school hygiene and nutrition from 2005-2008, HIV/AIDS prevention projects in Hanoi, Hai Phong and Thai Nguyen, and a current project on disaster risk reduction and emergency relief in the central coastal provinces of Vietnam.... [read more]

Steffen Stenberg, Director of Operations of the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) made the statement after his visit to some Vietnamese central provinces to evaluate the effectiveness of its funding for projects to cope with natural disasters. At a press conference in Hanoi on June 21, Stenberg said that in the face of severe losses caused by Ketsana and Myrinae typhoons in 2009, ECHO gave 5 million euro in emergency assistance to provide disaster-hit areas with food, clean water, and schools and small clinics rehabilitation. ECHO is disbursing 1.4 million euro in humanitarian aid to help those in the central region affected by strong rains last November stabilise their lives. Stenberg said that he was very impressed with local authorities and community’s outcomes of coping with and minimizing the impact of natural disasters in the central region, from Quang Tri to Thua Thien Hue. The commitment of local authorities and the participation of the community are extremely important factors in bringing success to ECHO-funded projects, Stenberg said. He affirmed that the EC will expand humanitarian aid to vulnerable victims in disaster-hit regions and increase assistance to Vietnam from 2012 to 2013 in the field of natural disaster mitigation. Additionally, the EC would give its priority to follow the National Programme on Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction, through which Vietnam can rely on people and resources to deal with consequences of disasters, he added. Since 1994, the EC, through ECHO, has provided 30.4 million euro in humanitarian aid to…... [read more]

The project, funded by the Save The Children organization in Vietnam will focus on three major activities, including helping the city’s centre for disaster prevention and mitigation enhance coordination in disaster response and relief. It will provide the centre with technical equipment and facilities to serve rescue work and training aids such as generators, computer sets, portable speakers, flashlights and, lifebuoys. In addition, about 147 training courses, extracurricular activities and rehearsals for almost 6,000 people, mainly teachers, pupils, people living in coastal areas and flood control officials will also be organized. These activities are expected to provide basic knowledge on natural disaster, and disaster prevention and response. VNA... [read more]

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