Conference hears that Vietnam needs international assistance to fight drought and saltwater intrusion.
The Vietnamese Government, the United Nations, and other partners called for $48.5 million in aid to help Vietnam cope with severe drought and saltwater intrusion due to the El Nino weather pattern at a conference organized by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the issue in Hanoi on April 26.
In March the Vietnamese Government, the United Nations and some non-government organizations implemented a brief review that revealed that in the 18 provinces most impacted by drought and saltwater intrusion about 2 million people don’t have access to clean water for daily life and about 1.1 million people need food support.
Over 60,000 women and children are suffering malnutrition and the livelihoods of about 1.75 million people have been seriously affected, both of which are rising.
The review also expressed concern over the outbreak of disease due to the use of unclean water. Harvest losses also create food shortages, worsening the malnutrition found among children.
Dr. Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, told the conference she appreciates the efforts of the Vietnamese Government in providing emergency aid to the vulnerable in the country. Coping with disaster, however, needs support from the international community, she said.
The United Nations will continue to cooperate with the Vietnamese Government to support people who are most impacted by natural disasters.
Some aid commitments were announced at the conference. The United Nations will provide $4 million, the Asian Development Bank will consider $3 million in aid, and New Zealand will provide $50,000 to Vietnam. The US, meanwhile, will help the Mekong Delta’s Ben Tre province with $500,000.