This update is issued on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 23 January to 27 February 2020. The next update will be issued once new information becomes available.
• Since 2019, severe drought and saltwater intrusion conditions have been detected and have begun to significantly affect people across 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta region.
• Seasonal weather forecasts indicate that the level of severity will continue to increase, peaking in March to May 2020.
• On 15-17 January, the Central Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control (CCNDPC), INGOs, Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) partners and the UN, conducted a joint multisector rapid assessment and published a joint assessment report.
• On 1 February, IFRC launched a three month Disaster Relief Emergency Funding (DREF) operation to support VNRC to assist affected people in Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, and Tra Vinh.
• As of 7 February, three provinces have declared a state of emergency .
• On 13 February, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development submitted a report to the Prime Minister, summarizing the current situation, the steps taken to address impacts and recommendations for continued action.
• On 14 February, the CCNDPC Vice-Chairman sent a letter to the UN RC outlining the response undertaken by UN agencies and looking forward to continued cooperation.
• The COVID-19 outbreak is also impacting trade in the Mekong Delta, putting an additional socioeconomic pressure on vulnerable households already affected by drought and saltwater intrusion.