Ha Noi, 26 October 2020 – Central provinces have been battered by persistent torrential rains, widespread flooding, and landslides triggered by typhoons #5 and #6, since October 5th, resulting in the flooding of more than 270,000 houses, damage to over 37,500 houses, and the evacuation of about 57,000 people to temporary shelters. The information was presented by UNDP experts who worked closely with VNDMA and partners in leading rapid needs assessments in Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien Hue in a debriefing organised by the Government and the United Nations in Viet Nam this morning at the office of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.
The historic floods and landslides have already taken the lives of 130 people and affected millions more. The houses that have already been damaged are potentially unstable and may be further impacted if Typhoon Molave makes landfall in Viet Nam later this week.
Many people have lost almost all of their household possessions to the floodwaters, and many others have become homeless. Poor and near-poor people will not have the means to invest in house repairs, reconstruction, or purchasing necessary necessities. They have all been pushed to the tipping point.
UNDP is providing critical support to the Government of Viet Nam and vulnerable communities. “We have mobilized US$100,000 from our emergency resources for essential support to the assessments, coordination, response, and recovery planning. We will continue to support vulnerable and flood-affected people by building resilient houses. We are proud that the nearly 600 storm-resilient houses we designed and helped build in Thua Thien Hue have withstood the recent relentless floods and storms, including during the historically high flooding over the past few weeks,” said Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam.
To date, over 3,250 flood- and storm-resilient houses have been constructed in 5 provinces of Thua Thien Hue, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Thanh Hoa by the joint Green Climate Fund-Government of Viet Nam-UNDP project titled “Improving the Resilience of Vulnerable Coastal Communities to Climate Change Related Impacts in Viet Nam,” and a further 800 resilient houses are planned for construction in 2021.
It is important to replicate and scale up resilient housing models in Viet Nam, especially for the poor and near poor in 28 coastal provinces. The successful resilient houses are constructed with key features which will help them withstand the impacts of strong typhoons, historic floods, and climate extreme events to protect people and their household possessions. This requires concerted efforts by the Government, the private sector, individuals and development partners.
Ms. Wiesen highlighted that UNDP will continue its ongoing support efforts by focusing on an integrated approach to disaster risk management, including planting mangroves to serve as storm surge buffers and raising awareness of climate change and disaster risk in communities and local authorities in seven coastal provinces. UNDP will also support the Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority and the five most-affected provinces to develop comprehensive flood risk maps to support development planning. By integrating flood risk reduction measures, it is expected that the impact of future floods will be reduced.
For more information, please kindly contact:
Phan Hương Giang
Media and Communication Analyst, Climate Change and Environment,
United Nations Development Programme