520,000 # of children affected
out of 2,000,000 # of people affected
600,000 # hectares of damaged crops
1,750,000 # people with lost incomes
52 (18 most affected) # provinces affected out of 64
Government-One UN Joint Emergency Response Plan 2016
UN funds received: $12.0 million
UNICEF funds received: US$4 million
Funding gap: US$32.5 million
Vietnam’s National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF) reported that average water levels in the Mekong River will be 10-20 percent lower than previous years, but still higher than the 2015-2016 season, thereby reducing saline intrusion into the delta region. However, saline intrusion has been subsequently reported in many provinces in the Mekong Delta region. For example, saltwater has spread to 20 kilometres of the Tien River, with high salt content. Salinity will reach its peak in February and March, 2017. The impact is anticipated to be less severe than 2015, but more intense than normal years. The NCHMF is recommending southern localities actively prepare plans for saline intrusion, drought and water shortages during the upcoming dry season.
UNICEF Viet Nam continues to work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), line ministries and partners such as Viet Nam Red Cross and Women’s Union to implement the ongoing emergency response programme for vulnerable children and women in affected areas. Lessons learnt will be drawn from the initial phase of implementation to inform the direction for child-centered disaster risk reduction and risk-informed programming in Viet Nam.
Lack of safe drinking water and poor hygiene conditions pose high public health risks to vulnerable communities in affected provinces. As such the ongoing emergency response, including water purification, hygiene promotion and nutrition interventions, remain pertinent to the context.
Situation overview and humanitarian needs
The El Niño-induced drought and saline intrusion emergency has adversely impacted on the lives of people in 52 out of 64 provinces in Vietnam. In the most affected 18 provinces some two million people, including 520,000 children and one million women, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Of the two million people affected, some 500,000 live in the drought-affected South Central and Central Highlands regions and 1.5 million in the Mekong Delta, where water shortages have been exacerbated by saltwater intrusion.
Reduced water use for washing, ablutions and handwashing have already resulted in increased incidences of diarrhea, dysentery, hand, foot and mouth disease and skin diseases. Limited access to water has also had an impact on children’s health, exacerbating the prevalence of malnutrition.
The forecasted occurrence of La Niña is now 50-60 percent compared to the previous 75 percent. 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-scale flooding in Mekong Delta provinces, particularly in current drought-affected areas.