Viet Nam

Viet Nam: Typhoons Revised Appeal No. MDRVN001 Operation Update No. 3

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In Brief

Operations Update no. 03;

Period covered: 10 December - 18 January 2007;

Revised Appeal target: CHF 4.2 million (USD 3.4 million or EUR 2.6 million)

Appeal coverage: 26%;

outstanding needs: CHF 3.1 million

Appeal history:

- Preliminary emergency appeal for Typhoon Xangsane launched on 5 Oct 2006 to seek CHF 998,110 (USD 801,177 OR EUR 629,490) for 61,000 beneficiaries for 12 months.

- The appeal was revised on 13 October 2006 to CHF 1.67 million (USD 1.4 million or EUR 1.1 million) for 60,400 beneficiaries to reflect operational realities.

- The appeal was relaunched as Viet Nam Typhoons Emergency Appeal (MDRVN001) on 7 December 2006 to incorporate Typhoon Durian. It requests CHF 4.2 million (USD 3.4 million or EUR 2.6 million) in cash, kind, or services to assist 98,000 beneficiaries for 12 months.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) allocated: for Xangsane and Durian at CHF 100,000 each.

Operational Summary: The Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC), through its headquarters and its chapters, are committed towards supporting communities affected by a series of typhoons (Xangsane and Durian). The needs are extensive, with 20 cities and provinces stretching from the central regions to southern parts of the country hit hard with losses to lives, property and livelihoods. After a four-month operation (three months with Xangsane and one month with Durian), approximately 26,700 people have received 144 tonnes of rice and 5,700 households kits. Cognizant of the need to support recovery efforts, the VNRC has also supported 520 families in eight provinces in repairing and rebuilding their houses. 60 families with 221 persons, in Da Nang and Quang Nam provinces have moved into the newly repaired houses in January 2007.

However, given that over 3,000 other families are living in badly-damaged homes, and are awaiting aid to rebuild and repair their houses, the Federation recommends for more international assistance to the VNRC to support communities that were hit by the destructive Xangsane and Durian typhoons. With only 26 percent appeal coverage, the operation still has a long way to go in achieving its appeal objectives to restore the lives of those made vulnerable by the disasters. Indeed if the low coverage continues, the operation will soon have to be adjusted according to the income received, leaving the needs of thousands unattended.

Background

The most recent typhoon, Durian, hit the southern coastal provinces and Mekong delta on 5 December. The eye of the typhoon crossed Phu Qui island in Binh Thuan province, causing damages across ten provinces, as well as Ho Ch Minh city and Can Tho city in Can Gio district. At least 98 people were killed and 1,770 people were injured.

Leaving behind a trail of destruction, Typhoon Durian damaged 200,000 houses (out of which 34,000 were destroyed), wrecked more than 850 schools and sunk 800 boats. There were significant losses in livelihoods, most evident in Binh Thuan, Vung Tau, Ben Tre and Vinh Long provinces as well as Ho Chi Minh City.

The needs arising out of this disaster are immense.

According to the national disaster management partnership, there is an urgent need to rebuild 22,000 houses and repair another 130,000. To help survivors in Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Long An and Tien Giang provinces regain their income and livelihoods, there is a need to provide them with various seeds. The affected fishing community also needs prompt support. Total needs are put at VND 1,000 billion (USD 60 million). Currently, there is a gap of at least VND800 billion (USD 50 million).

Beyond the loss of life, livelihoods and infrastructure, the typhoons had an impact on the local economy. It is reported that building material has already increased by 50 - 100 percent of their normal retail price, and stocks are fast being depleted. As a result, communities are turning to the use of water coconut leaves, although these are also sparse and cause environmental damage to the trees themselves.

In response to both Typhoon Durian and Xangsane, the central government called for domestic and international support. To date, the central government has allocated a total of VND 311 billion (CHF 24.5 million) to help recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation, as well as released 1,750 metric tonnes (MT) of rice and construction material. It will also further assess the coverage of the food subsidy programme and reduce tax burdens on businesses affected by the typhoons. However, plans will only move ahead in 2007.

The government agency named People Aid Coordination Committee sent out an official request for emergency assistance from international organizations. Additional support from local organizations is being provided through the National Fatherland Front, a political coalition organization. It has appealed for contributions, having released emergency food, other relief and cash distributions to help the affected population rebound quickly. It has pledged to provide assistance to families whose homes have collapsed with CHF 750 (USD 620); those whose homes are partially damaged will receive CHF 223 to 425 (USD 200 to 350). In addition, other mass organizations and government institutions are collecting donations.