UNDP-supported project to increase water security and enhance livelihoods for half a million smallholder farmers impacted by the climate crisis
11 March 2020, Geneva, Switzerland – At its 25th Board Meeting, the Green Climate Fund approved today US$30.2 million in funding for a new project that will address water insecurity issues and support climate-resilient agriculture for vulnerable smallholder farmers in the Central Highlands and South-Central Coast regions of Viet Nam.
Led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) the new six-year initiative will directly benefit more than 222,400 people in the provinces of Dak Lak, Dak, Nong, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan and Khanh Hoa – around 10% of the population of the target provinces – with modernized irrigation systems, improved water security and livelihood options, increased knowledge of climate risks and resilient agricultural techniques, and access to localised climate advisories and market information.
More than 335,000 people are expected to indirectly benefit from improved institutional capacities through training and technical assistance, enhanced access to climate risk information, and widespread dissemination of best practices in climate-resilient agriculture.
“The project is part of an innovative, integrated approach to building resilience, envisioned by the Government of Viet Nam and co-developed with UNDP and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The grant complements and leverages ADB investment in modernized irrigation systems in drought-affected provinces, ensuring the benefits extend to the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly ethnic minority and women farmers,” said Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam.
It also complements the Government of Viet Nam’s efforts to improve the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities under a UNDP-supported, GCF-financed coastal resilience project, which is building new flood resistant houses and regenerating coastal mangroves to protect vulnerable communities whose lives and livelihoods are being impacted by the climate crisis.
“Viet Nam is facing the severe effects of climate change,” said Mr. Ha Cong Tuan, Standing Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. “This transformative project, financed with the support of the Green Climate Fund and the UN Development Programme, will effectively help our smallholder farmers - particularly ethnic minority and women farmers - in the most vulnerable provinces of Central Vietnam to adapt to increasing rainfall variability and drought caused by climate change."
With significant economic growth over recent decades, Viet Nam is widely, and rightly, considered a development success story. However, poverty persists in some communities particularly among ethnic minorities.
The Central Highlands and South-Central Coast are expected to experience wetter wet seasons and drier dry seasons with an increased risk of severe droughts. Accordingly, farmers face reduced crop productivity, which in turn is impacting food security and incomes.
Small-scale farmers with plots of less than one hectare and who are dependent on one or two rain-fed crops a year, face an uphill battle.
As well as investing in climate-resilient infrastructure – supporting smallholder farmers to connect to the irrigation systems financed by ADB – the project places an emphasis on community-driven adaptation. Under the project, ‘Farmer Field Schools’ will provide training in climate-resilient farming practices, including in using climate information, water efficiency, and crop choices and scheduling. Poor farmers will also receive training in small business planning, including assistance in accessing credit and linking to markets. Local water user groups will manage water supply while partnerships among value-chain stakeholders will help ensure access to markets and credit.
“This project focuses on sustainable water management and will help accelerate Viet Nam’s National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and Sustainable Development Goals, especially Vietnam’s priority actions to eradicate poverty (SDG 1), achieve food security (SDG 2), reduce inequalities (SDG 10), and to realise sustainable communities (SDG 11)”, Wiesen highlighted.
UNDP was one of the first organisations accredited by the Green Climate Fund in 2015. With the approval of the project in Viet Nam – along with a recently approved project in Zimbabwe – UNDP has supported 24 countries in accessing over US$800 million in GCF finance since the fund’s inception.
Phan Huong Giang | Media & Communications Analyst, UNDP Viet Nam | Ph. +84 4 38500136 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Notes to Editors
Poverty persists in remote mountainous areas and is concentrated in communes where indigenous people live.
Most ethnic minorities live in Ninh Thuan, Dak Lak and Dak Nong with populations ranging from 20% to 30% while ethnic minority populations account for 5.7% and 7.4% population of Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan provinces respectively.
Agriculture and water resources are the foundation of the livelihoods of about 64% of the people in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, especially ethnic minorities. Around 48% of the people in the South-Central Coast region rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
The Central Highlands are susceptible to changes in water availability in the dry season when there is little rain and low river flow. Only about 27.8% of the region’s agricultural land is irrigated.
The South-Central Coast is the driest area of the country with a long dry season, the lowest rainfall, and a relatively small river system. Only around 30% of agricultural land is irrigated.
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The Green Climate Fund (GCF), the world’s largest fund dedicated to climate finance, supports developing countries to reduce their carbon emissions and strengthen their resilience to climate change. Set up by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, GCF is an operating entity of the UNFCCC’s Financial Mechanism that also serves the Paris Agreement. GCF drives climate finance to where it is needed most: in the Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, and African States.