Viet Nam

UNICEF Vietnam Humanitarian Situation Report No. 10, 15 October 2016

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520,000 # of children affected out of

2,000,000 # of people affected 600,000 #Hectares of crop damaged 1,750,000 # people lost incomes 52 (18 most affected) # provinces affected out of 64 Government-One UN Joint Emergency Response Plan 2016* US$48.5 million UN funds received:

$12.0 million UNICEF funds received:

US$4 million Funding gap: US$32.5 million

Highlights

  • Fresh water has been available due to seasonal rain fall South Central Coast and Central Highlands region. In Central Highlands, although it is at peak of rainy season, the water level, particularly ground water is much lower than previous years. The annual flood of Mekong Delta has reached the delta.
    However, the water level is around 1 meter lower than the same period of previous years. UNICEF recently conducted two field trips for reality check in Gia Lai and Ben Tre where drought and saline intrusion were most severe and it can be stated that with current water level lower than 2015, drought and salt water intrusion will possibly come back in two-month time and could be more serious. UNICEF’s support is very timely to help people and the government in better preventing and resilient to what is going to happen.

  • It is foreseen that with the impact of climate change, sea level rise, reduction of water flow from upstream to lower Mekong basin, natural and man-made disasters have been and will be more intensified and unpredictable. Under that backdrop, UNICEF Viet Nam has engaged strategically with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development – MARD, the focal agency of the Government of Viet Nam on this work, to discuss a long term cooperation on risk informed programming, disaster preparedness, building resilience and disaster risk reduction – DRR.

  • Lack of safe drinking water and poor hygiene conditions poses high public health risks to vulnerable communities in affected provinces. Impact for affected households is severe and needs are still pertinent particularly in terms of water purification, hygiene promotion, nutritional support and livelihood recovery.

Situation overview and Humanitarian Needs

The ongoing El Niño-induced drought and saline intrusion emergency has adversely impacted the lives of people in 52 out of 64 provinces. In the most affected 18 provinces, 2 million people including 520,000 children and 1 million women, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Of the total 2 million people affected, some 500,000 live in the droughtaffected South Central and Central Highlands Regions, and 1.5 million live in the Mekong Delta, where water shortages have been exacerbated by the saltwater intrusion.

Reduced water use for washing, ablution, and hand-washing, have already resulted in increased incidence of diarrhoea, dysentery, hand, foot and mouth disease, and skin diseases.

The poor access to water has also had an impact on children’s health, exacerbating the prevalence of malnutrition.

The forecast of likelihood occurrence of La Niña is now 50-60% compared to previous forecast of 75%. La Niña, which is characterized by cooler than normal water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, usually results in greater than average rainfall, increasing the risk of large flooding in Mekong delta provinces – particularly in drought-affected areas. The Mekong River delta plays an important role in the Vietnamese economy and it has been severely impacted by a series of unusually drought and large floods. In the dry season the delta is impacted by salinity intrusion and tides. These effects have caused severe human hardship.

With recent rainfall, the situation in the Mekong Delta has improved although impact of saline intrusion is yet to change. The annual flood of Mekong Delta has reached the delta. However, the water level is around 1 meter lower than the same period of previous years. With current water level lower than 2015 salt water intrusion will possibly come back in two-month time and could be more serious. In Central Highlands, although it is at peak of rainy season, the water level, particularly ground water is much lower than previous years.