18 provinces severely affected
2 million people affected, with significant loss of income due to damaged or lost livelihoods
First time in decades a negative agricultural growth
Since 2014, the longest and strongest ever El Niño drought and saltwater intrusion has severely affected one third of Viet Nam, in areas producing key agricultural outputs such as rice, coffee, pepper, fruit, sugarcane and seafood.
During the peak of the drought (February-May 2016), an estimated 2 million people did not have access to water for consumption and domestic use, 1.1 million were food insecure and more than 2 million people lost incomes due to damaged or lost livelihoods. Risks of water- related diseases and severe acute malnutrition also significantly increased.
A total of 659,476ha of crops have been damaged or lost; 273,122ha rice, 168,064ha perennial crops, 35,868ha fruit trees and 30,805ha vegetables and other crops. 69,009ha of aquaculture have been affected and over 8,337 animals died. The Government estimates the total economic loss at VND 15,032 billion (approx. US$ 674 million) or 0.35% of the national GDP, with for the first time in decades a negative agricultural growth of 0.18 percent.
Since 2015, the Government has effectively responded to emergency needs by providing rice, water and other food, distributing water purification tablets, upgrading or repairing water infrastructure, delivering agricultural inputs and financial aid, for a total value of approximately US$ 60.5million. Complementing these efforts, the UN, NGOs, Red Cross and other partners mobilized an additional US$ 16.1million from various sources including the Central Emergency Response Fund, for life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, food, health, cash and livelihood interventions.
As of September 2016, drought hydro-meteorological conditions are over in all three regions. Rains have commenced but are scattered and insufficient. However, drought impact for affected households is still lingering and needs are pertinent particularly in terms of water storage and purification, hygiene and nutrition support, disease surveillance and response, and livelihood recovery.
In addition, significant investment is needed in short, medium and long term resilience-oriented drought recovery measures, in combination with access to climate information services, early warning and multi-hazard preparedness measures, particularly in light of a possible La Niña and recurrent drought. Actions should prioritize the most vulnerable population groups and integrate gender and women’s empowerment.
Outlook: there is a 50-60% likelihood that low to moderate intensity La Niña conditions will occur towards the end of 2016. 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 flooding and landslides. (source: National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, 16 August 2016)
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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