Viet Nam

Flood Relief in Vietnam Update February 2000

Catholic Relief Services continues to respond to the worst flooding to hit Vietnam this century. Currently, the regions of Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, Quang Binh and Da Nang City are still experiencing life-threatening floods.
Mr Hoi: Thankful for Relief Efforts

Mr. Hoi, 77 years old, lives with his family in one of the provinces Catholic Relief Services is reaching. His family is one of the poorest in the village, but the heavy damage of two continuous floods made their lives even more difficult. Their pigs and chickens, the most valuable things in their family, were swept away. Their rice crop was totally destroyed. Mr. Hoi's family received over 88 pounds of rice from Catholic Relief Services. Mr. Hoi said, " I can't smile because the damage was so serious that it will take us a very long time to get back to our normal life. At the same time I am happy because many kind people from the US thought of us and are helping us overcome this calamity."

Catholic Relief Services has delivered rice, mosquito nets and cooking kits to families in two districts of Quang Tri province and three districts of Thua Thien-Hue province. Agency staff continues to work in close coordination with the local provincial authorities.

Catholic Relief Services Activities

Following the distribution of 15,000 mosquito nets and 10,000 cooking kits in Hue and Quang Tri Provinces, CRS/Vietnam responded to a second wave of floods in seven central provinces of the country. At least 115 people were killed, 164 people were injured and 80,000 households were damaged. To help these additional victims, agency staff helped distribute 166 tons of rice. Within one day, more than 8,000 people in each district received rice.

Current Situation

For three months now, floodwaters continue to pound the central provinces - the worst in recorded history. The flooding has killed more than 600 people and left almost two million people homeless. Additionally the flooding has damaged thousands of hectares of cultivated fields, killed cows and buffaloes (vital for plowing the rice fields), and swept away or damaged more than 10,000 tons of rice seedlings almost ready to be transplanted into the rice paddies. In Quang Nam province, 400 hectares of land was swept away and 1,200 hectares were filled with mud and debris.

Following the emergency efforts, Catholic Relief Services staff are preparing for a reconstruction project in the Quang Tri and Hue provinces. A total of $250,000 donated to the agency from Orange Diocese in California will be used for housing and reconstruction of schools


Catholic Relief Services first worked in Vietnam from 1951 to 1975, distributing humanitarian assistance and supporting social services, primarily in the south. CRS returned to Vietnam in 1992, initially by supporting activities in partnership with other Catholic organizations.