Viet Nam

One third of Viet Nam’s most vulnerable communes have disaster risk reduction plans

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Ha Noi 7 April 2015 - Almost 2000 of the most vulnerable communes in Viet Nam have developed risk reduction and response plans, Mr Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director in Viet Nam, told today’s meeting to review the progress of the national community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) programme. The meeting gathered representatives from 43 provinces, central Government as well as ODA and NGO partners.

Disaster risk reduction and management is of central importance to Viet Nam. Due to its geographical location, Viet Nam is constantly at risk from natural hazards. Annually, weather related disasters cause on average over 400 deaths and economic losses equivalent to more than one per cent of national GDP. Viet Nam is also at high risk to the impacts of global climate change.

Since late 2009, Viet Nam has been implementing a national CBDRM programme that aims to reach 6000 of communes by 2020, and work has started in approximately one third. The programme has helped build the resilience of communities, focusing on strengthening community capacities. As a result, loss of life has reduced at the rate of nearly 8% per year on average while there is a stronger shift in preparedness cultures in the societies.

“Building community resilience is a priority for the partnership between UNDP and the Government of Viet Nam,” said Mr Burkhanov at the meeting.

With the robust cooperation and financial contribution by the Australian Aid, the UNDP-Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development project “Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Disaster risk Management in Vietnam, including climate change related disasters” has supported the national CBDRM program through the development and piloting of a model for implementation at commune level. Key tools, such as CBDRM and Community Based Disaster Risk Assessment (CBDRA) Guidebooks, have been developed with the involvement of civil society organizations. In 2014, more than 100 communes have already used these manuals.

Drawing upon technical support of the UNDP and its partners – Viet Nam Women’s Union, Viet Nam Red Cross and Oxfam- Training of Trainers courses have been conducted in 20 provinces for provincial and district level officials. More than 1000 officials have since become CBDRM & CBDRA Trainers in their home provinces. These trainers are expected to continue to catalyze the good practices and lessons learnt from the past five years in working with the rest of the communes.

“While CBDRM approach has yielded positive results overall, its ultimate success will depend on the ability to take it to the right scale and implement it across all vulnerable communes,” said Mr Burkhanov. “Developing a clear funding strategy that can draw on a mix of ODA, Government, community as well as private sector contributions will be key to consolidating and building on current successes.”