Viet Nam experienced the longest and strongest El Niño-induced drought and saline water intrusion period since late 2015, severely affecting more than 18 provinces in the three regions which produce key agricultural export and food security crops such as rice, coffee, pepper, fruits and aquaculture. Particular vulnerable groups such as the poor, women headed households, landless, people with disabilities, children and the elderly are more heavily impacted than others.
At the end of June 2016, the Government officially declared drought hydro-meteorological conditions to be over in the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands, but still on-going in South-Central Viet Nam. However, impact for affected households is still enduring and needs are still pertinent particularly in terms of water storage and purification, hygiene promotion, nutritional support and livelihood recovery.
Following the launch of the Joint UN-Viet Nam Emergency Response Plan in late April 2016, a consultation workshop on building resilience based approach to recovery from El-Nino and La Nina was jointly chaired by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and UN Resident Coordinator on 8 July. Representatives from 18 most affected provinces in Central Highland, South Central Coastal and Mekong River Delta region actively participated in the workshop, sharing information regarding drought related recovery needs, damage and losses, as well as providing ideas to inform the coordination of activities and plans with development partners.
As part of further joint efforts towards supporting sustainable recovery from Viet Nam’s 2015-2016 drought period, UNDP has been closely working with the MARD to organise extensive consultations particularly with 18 affected provinces. Further consultations with other UN agencies, NGOs community, Red Cross and other development partners to develop the second Joint UN-Government of Viet Nam Emergency Response Plan (ERP) were followed. With a focus on Recovery component, this ERP clearly highlights key medium to longterm interventions to 2020 to promote recovery, preparedness planning and disaster and climate resilience building.
This analysis report on ‘Viet Nam Drought and Saltwater Intrusion: Transitioning from Emergency to Recovery’ will focus on policy implications for the recovery component, as well as to be served as a key document for resource mobilisation for recovery response in the coming years. The current drought is a unique opportunity to not only “build back better” but also to learn lessons for future resilience building that will be particularly important in light of increasing climate change risk that makes similar droughts more likely in the future.