In Viet Nam, the worst drought the country has seen in 90 years has been attributed to the El Niño weather event, with 52 out of 63 provinces having been affected by drought; 18 provinces were declared states of emergencies, as of June 2016. Coupled with the droughts' impacts, saltwater intrusion has extended up to 90 km inland in some coastal areas, leaving river water too salty for human or animal consumption, or to irrigate crops and continue fish-farming production. (FAO, 23 August 2016)
In the most affected 18 provinces, 2 million people including 520,000 children and 1 million women, were in need of humanitarian assistance, as of August 2016. Of the total 2 million people affected, some 500,000 live in the drought-affected South Central and Central Highlands Regions, and 1.5 million live in the Mekong Delta. (UNICEF, 15 Aug 2016)
A spike in dengue fever cases has been partially attributed to the severe drought, particularly in the Central Highlands and South-Central Vietnam. At the end of August, more than 34% or US$16.7 million of the emergency requirement has been funded, not including the majority of the Government relief. (UNCT, 16 Sep 2016)
On 15 March 2016, the government of Viet Nam requested assistance from international partners for its relief efforts, prioritizing support to ensure safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene practices and nutritional support in drought-affected areas and enhanced monitoring of potential disease outbreaks. On 26 April 2016 the government of Viet Nam, United Nations and partners appealed to the international community to support a US$48.5 million joint government-United Nations emergency response plan to address the El Niño drought. (UNICEF, 15 Dec 2016)
By October, more than 54.4 per cent or US$ 26.4 million of the Emergency Response Plan (ERP) emergency needs has been mobilized for WASH, nutrition, health, food and livelihood recovery actions. While relief operations are concluding, actions remain vital to address short, medium and long term drought recovery and strengthen the resilience of affected communities. (UNCT, 12 Oct 2016)
In terms of forecast for the 2016/17 dry season (November to April), river water levels are expected to be: 15-35% lower than average in the Mekong Delta; 20-60% lower than average in the Central Highlands and 70% lower than average in the South-Central region. For all three regions, rainfall will be slightly higher than average in the coming months (Nov. 2016-Feb. 2017), but lower in the months after. Drought conditions are expected for the coming dry season in the Central Highlands, but not as severe as in 2015/16. The Mekong Delta will also be affected by higher than normal rates of salinity intrusion, but less severe than the previous dry season. (UNCT, 16 Sep 2016)
During the peak of the drought (February-May 2016), an estimated 2 million people did not have access to water for consumption and domestic use, 1.1 million were food insecure and more than 2 million people lost incomes due to damaged or lost livelihoods. Risks of water- related diseases and severe acute malnutrition also significantly increased. The total costed recovery needs from October 2016 until 2020, as calculated by the 18 drought affected provinces, is estimated at VND 27,241.2 billion (equivalent to US$1,221 million). (Govt. Viet Nam/UNCT/OCHA, 21 Oct 2016)
By October 2016, the annual flooding began in the Mekong Delta. However, the water level is around 1 meter lower than the same period in previous years. With the current water level lower than 2015, salt water intrusion could possibly come back within two months, and could be more serious. (UNICEF, 15 Oct 2016)
Reduced water use for washing, ablutions and hand-washing have already resulted in increased incidences of diarrhea, dysentery, hand, foot and mouth disease and skin diseases. Limited access to water has also had an impact on children’s health, exacerbating the prevalence of malnutrition. (UNICEF, 15 Nov 2016)
In Indonesia, drought associated with El Niño is reported in 16 of 34 provinces, while a total of 43 districts in eight provinces are facing an extreme drought.The Ministry of Health reported that ten people have died and more than 272,000 people have suffered from acute respiratory infection from August to September 2015. (OCHA, 29 Oct 2015)
El Niño meant that the rainy season did not start in December as expected: after a short period of average rain in the first days of January, rainfall returned to well below-average in February. Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), one of the poorest provinces, is one of the most affected, and makes up almost half of the people in need, as high poverty and malnutrition exacerbate the impact of the drought. In NTT, besides the 500,000 people in need of food assistance, an additional 700,000 are considered at risk of food insecurity. (ACAPS, 15 Mar 2016) An estimated 3 million Indonesians live below the poverty line in severely drought impacted districts with 1.2 million of these reliant on rainfall for their food production livelihood. The late onset of rains and subsequent delays in planting have two critical cascading effects: extension of the lean season and increased exposure of the second rice planting to peak dry season which increases the probability of crop damage or failure. (WFP/Govt. Indonesia)
In the Philippines on 7 June, the Province of Davao del Norte, in Mindanao, declared a state of calamity due to El Niño-induced drought. An estimated 57,240 families (229,000 people) were affected. Agricultural damage in the province is estimated at US$19.2 million. A total of 17 provinces across the Philippines were under a state of calamity. (OCHA, 13 June 2016)
For the first seven months of 2016, El Niño contributed to about US$ 258M in crop losses across the country, impacting the production of rice, vegetables and high-value crops. There were some 285,000 affected farmers. (OCHA, 31 Jan 2017)
In February, the Government of Thailand announced that 28 provinces throughout the country were likely to be at risk of water shortages. (Government of Thailand, 26 Feb 2016) In June, a government official said that continuous rainfall that came with the start of the monsoon season had alleviated the country's drought situation. (Government of Thailand, 25 June 2016)
In Myanmar, a total of 146 villages suffered from water shortages during last year’s summer season, while this year has seen those figures increase to roughly 300 villages, with the majority of those villages located in the townships of Ngapudaw, Thabaung, Kyaunggone and Yekyi, according to the records of the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems. (Gov't of Myanmar, 14 Mar 2016) According to the Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, since mid-February 2016, Myanmar has been experiencing a severe impact of El Niño including extreme temperatures, unusual rainfall patterns, dry soil, high risk of fires and acute water shortages. (OCHA, 31 May 2016)
According to climatologists the drought affecting Malaysia is likely to continue until June 2016. The current heat wave has been compared to the one in 1997-1998. Sabah and northern Sarawak districts will probably be the most affected. Several hundred hectares of crops have been destroyed by fires in Sabah in the past week. Ten villages were affected. The drought is likely to cause water pollution and water scarcity. (ECHO, 20 Mar 2016)
In Timor-Leste, an estimated 120,000 people in the municipalities of Lautém, Viqueue, Baucau and Covalima and the Oecusse Special Economic Zone remain severely affected by the 2015 to 2016 El Niño event. In 2016, cereal crop production is projected to be around 70,000 tonnes, falling short of the annual need of 258,000 tonnes. Even in a regular year, the coping capacities of communities are already severely stretched, with very high incidences of malnutrition reported. A weak La Niña event may also develop in the third quarter of 2016, which could further strain the resources of already vulnerable rural households just starting to recover from El Niño. Food, water and sanitation, health, nutrition, livelihood and education support remain priority needs. (UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Timor-Leste, 2 September 2016)
A total of 5,508 households were identified as being vulnerable to the impact of El Niño following completion of the initial household needs assessment as part of an emergency appeal. Loss of crops and livestock, a poor rice harvest, and diminished seed stock, all present acute problems for the most vulnerable households. Although the El Niño was declared officially over – by forecasters – in June, its effects are still impacting on the poorest communities. (IFRC, 23 Sep 2016)
Many vulnerable communities may continue to struggle through their annual lean season due to the earlier El Nino and drought. Based on the experience from previous droughts, the recovery of some communities can take up to two years. (IFRC, 11 Nov 2016)
According to official estimates, approximately 350 000 people, or one‑third of Timor-Leste's total population, were affected by prolonged drought during the last two years. Although rains improved in recent months, bringing some relief to drought-affected areas, vulnerable households have not recovered fully and may still require humanitarian assistance. (FAO, 14 Dec 2016)
As a response to the drought caused by El Niño in Baucau, Lautem and Viqueque, 8,244 children under two years, and 6,429 pregnant and nursing women, have received specialised nutritious food to prevent malnutrition. (WFP, 28 Feb 2017)
Most of the 25 provinces of Cambodia experienced water shortages due to what is considered the worst drought in about 50 years. According to the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Pursat, and Kampong Speu provinces are the worst affected, with around 2.5 million people (625,000 households) severely affected. WFP, UNICEF and FAO are conducting a survey to assess the medium and long term needs related to the prolonged effects of El Niño. (OCHA, 30 May 2016)
The impact of the prolonged drought from early 2015 to mid‑2016 has resulted in an increased level of food insecurity in Cambodia's affected areas. According to official estimates, approximately 2.5 million people, and 18 out of 25 provinces, were affected by the drought. Although rains improved from late July 2016 over most of the country, bringing relief to the drought-affected areas, farming households with little resilience and low agricultural productivity have not recovered fully and may require some humanitarian assistance. (FAO, 12 Dec 2016)
The U.S. Ambassador to Lao PDR and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) delegation from Bangkok visited WFP/USDA- supported schools in Luang Prabang province. The mission had the opportunity to witness the shift from the mid-morning snack to the lunch modality, as part of the alignment with the National School Meals Programme.
WFP and the National Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) signed a programme document to collaborate on food security data collection and analysis on 14 March. The collaboration focuses on strengthening the Government’s capacity to minimise the disruption to food security of weather extremes through timely and actionable analysis. The document is a subsidiary agreement to the Country Programme Action Plan signed by the Government and WFP in August 2016.
From January 2015 to February 2017, a total of 13,578 children under the age of 5 years and 19,510 pregnant and nursing mothers were treated for malnutrition. In addition, 8,244 children and 6,429 pregnant and nursing mothers received nutritious food in a malnutrition prevention project.
Since January 2016, 309.3 mt of locally-produced Timor Vita, a specialised nutritious food for women, was distributed to 87 percent of the health facilities in 9 municipalities.
Greetings fellow ASEANers!
This month’s edition of The Column covers a workshop that the AHA Centre conducted for the Familiarisation of DELSA Stockpile and THE ACT, where we provided training and simulation exercises at the WFP/UNHRD warehouse in Subang, Malaysia. It is the responsibility and function of the AHA Centre to continuously strengthen and deepen the ASEAN’s thinking of disaster management, to ensure that the region has a collective response to disasters.
VGP – Viet Nam and the Netherlands were urged to convert challenges in climate change and water management into cooperative opportunities
Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung made the point while co-chairing the 6th meeting of the Viet Nam-Netherlands intergovernmental committee on climate change adaptation and water management with Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz on April 19 in The Hague, the Netherlands.
HA NOI – Most Vietnamese cities lack the capacity to confront climate change challenges, experts say, calling for greater preparedness efforts.
Cities have to be ready to adapt to new situations and unexpected developments, ensuring essential services to residents at all times, they add.
Surveys done by the Urban Development Agency under the Construction Ministry have found cities in mountainous areas particularly vulnerable to natural calamities.
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam needs to improve the quality of weather forecasting and enhance international co-operation to prepare for natural disasters, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has said.
The PM made the statement at a meeting to review disaster prevention and control in 2016 and layout tasks for 2017.
Nguyễn Xuân Cường, head of the Central Steering Commitee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, said, 2016 saw multiple extreme weather phenomena such as droughts, extreme cold weather, floods and storms, causing losses of VNĐ39.7 trillion (US$1.75 billion).
520,000 # of children affected out of
2,000,000 # of people affected
600,000 # hectares of damaged crops
1,750,000 # people with lost incomes
52 (18 most affected) # provinces affected out of
Government-One UN Joint Emergency Response Plan 2016
UNICEF funds received:
HÀ NỘI -- Thousands of children under the age of five living in Central region drought-hit areas are recovering from malnutrition due to an Emergency nutrition intervention programme project. The news was revealed in a report from National Institute for Nutrition (NIN) at a seminar held in Hà Nội.
UNDP’s cookbook highlights efforts to strengthen climate resilience & enhance food security across six countries
New York, 3 April 2017: UNDP launched a new cookbook looking at how climate change is affecting food security in developing countries and how communities are adapting their traditional recipes to survive.
The new cookbook, ‘Adaptive Farms, Resilient Tables’, was launched on Monday night in Brooklyn.
Climate change increases the risk of natural disasters and places a strain on livelihoods. This may contribute to high-risk behaviours and other negative coping strategies among affected populations, such as resorting to unscrupulous recruitment agencies associated with human smuggling and trafficking.
This IOM infosheet explores the links between climate change, human trafficking and smuggling in the Asia-Pacific region. To address these challenges, the infosheet provides an overview of best practices from existing projects in the region.
A landslide that struck Banaran Village of Ponorogo District, East Java on 1 April caused two deaths, injured 20 people and damaged approximately 30 homes. 26 people are still missing and around 300 people were evacuated. Local government has declared a two week emergency response and provided basic relief assistance. Heavy equipment has been mobilized in the search and rescue effort, and provincial and national government have provided support including for housing relocation assistance.1
26 people still missing
PHITSANULOK, 30 March 2017 (NNT) - The Royal Irrigation Department is set to release water to the low-lying area of Thung Bang Rakham in Phitsanulok to allow farmers to grow rice ahead of the rainy season.
According to Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya, there is a need to discharge water to the low-lying area of Thung Bang Rakham to allow farmers in both Phitsanulok and Sukhothai provinces to start rice farming before other provinces as this particular area will later be used as a water retention area during the rainy season.
UTHAITHANI, 27 March 2017 (NNT) – In spite of tropical storms spurring rains in many areas, the drought situation has remained a concern with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives now utilizing a pipe system directly between the Thap Salao Reservoir and nearby farms.
Changes in context:
It’s official. In 2016, global temperatures reached a record high for the third year in a row, and reports of extreme weather events continued to come in from around the world.
Drought gripped southern Africa, leaving 14 million people in countries including Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi facing severe food shortages. The Indian government acknowledged that more than a quarter of the country’s population was affected by drought, amid media reports of wells running dangerously low and farmers falling heavily into debt.
CHIANG MAI, 28 March 2017 (NNT) – The Bureau of Royal Rainmaking (BRR) has established an operation center in the north to combat both the persisting drought and haze.
The Country Strategic Plan (2017-2021) has been approved by the February Executive Board. A Lao delegation, led by the Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment attended the Executive Board session, and reaffirmed their commitment to the Country Strategic Plan (CSP), which will start on 1 April 2017.
WFP’s Executive Board approved a new Country Strategic Plan (CSP) for Indonesia, one of the first such plans to be approved. This CSP replaces the previous Country Programme (CP200914). It continues WFP’s contribution to the Government’s plans to reduce food insecurity for 11 million Indonesians, improve nutrition and strengthen emergency preparedness.
WFP now focuses exclusively on strengthening the government programmes for food security analysis, school meals, social protection and emergency preparedness.