Vietnam calls for more support to disaster-hit residents

Thursday, 2017-12-14 17:23:38
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Storm Damrey blasted Quy Nhon city when it made landfall in central Vietnam in November this year. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO/VNA – The Vietnamese Government has again appealed to individuals and organisations at both home and abroad to continue supporting residents in the central region recently hit hard by storm Damrey and the consequent floods.

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Speaking on behalf of the Government at a ceremony hosted by the Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Control in Hanoi on December 14, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that the central region has been the hardest-hit by natural disasters in recent years.

United Nations Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra promised to offer further support to flood victims in Vietnam, adding that the governments of the Republic of Korea, Russia, New Zealand and the US have also committed aid worth US$7.3 million to ensure food security, water supply and environmental hygiene in the affected region.

The UN, in coordination with several humanitarian organisations, is making a survey on the needs of the central region residents in order to design suitable help.

Vietnam needs financial assistance from the UN humanitarian relief programme and international community to restore local livelihoods, he said, adding that the country needs to partner with other entities to launch disaster response plans, alongside receiving support from the UN Children’s Fund, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

A representative of the survey mission stressed the need to provide urgent food relief and makeshift houses for the affected families within the next six months, as well as strengthen the joint work with the private sector to diversify support activities and facilitate locals’ access to insurance.

Tran Quang Hoai, General Director of the Directorate for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, said that Vietnam has been hit by 14 storms and numerous landslides and floods since early 2017, which have left 386 dead or missing and caused losses amounting to VND60 trillion (US$2.6 billion).

In particular, storm Damrey and the subsequent floods left serious impacts on the south central region, with 123 dead or missing. The region reported 3,550 collapsed houses and vast inundated areas of rice and vegetables, along with destroyed transport and dyke works, with damage estimated at more than VND22.6 trillion.

Around 700 tonnes of rice seeds, 4,400 tonnes of rice, worth VND1 trillion and large amounts of medicine have been promptly transferred to local people. Domestic and foreign organisations such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the UNDP, the Chinese, Russian and Kuwaiti governments and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management offered relief in cash and kind to the affected people.