Viet Nam

Vietnam: Typhoon Damrey - Appeal no. 05EA019 Final Report


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

Interim Final Report; Period covered: 5 October 2005 to 5 October 2006; Final appeal coverage: 104%

Appeal history:

- Launched on 5 October 2005 for CHF 813,678 (USD 628,813 or EUR 522,597) to assist 25,000 beneficiaries (5,000 families) for 12 months.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 200,000

- Interim Final Report narrative issued on 5 January 2007 minus a final financial report, which will be published one month later to allow time to resolve some internal pledge coding issues.

Operational Summary:

The operation has been successful in meeting objectives set. About 32,450 families in eight provinces who suffered food shortages and losses from the typhoon received assistance during the emergency and recovery phases. This eventually enabled them to return to their regular way of life and stabilize their socio-economic situation. Up to 34,888 families received household kits, blankets, rice, cake mixes, milk powder, instant noodles and clothes, which helped them survive the disaster. The operation also helped to rebuild homes for 200 families based on a stronger typhoon-resistant model, complete with water sanitation facilities. The holistic approach in support saw 1,000 families receiving livelihoods assistance in the form of pig husbandry and fish sauce production. Among the 4,855 people who benefited from housing and livelihoods support are the poor from minority groups, people with disabilities and senior citizens.

The operation strengthened the image and reputation of the Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) as the national society demonstrated its ability to reach people in serious need. Viet Nam Red Cross staff have become more experienced in disaster response and in their coordination with other organizations. The Damrey operation reinforced the importance of the VNRC's continuous assistance to communities in improving their disaster planning and preparedness in order to reduce fatal damages and destruction in the event of future disasters.

For further information, please contact:

Viet Nam Red Cross: Trinh Bang Hop (director of international relations and development department), email:, phone: +84.4.822.4320; Phung Van Hoan, disaster management manager, email:; phone +84.904.117.981

Federation country delegation in Viet Nam: Irja Sandberg (Federation representative), email:, phone: +84.4.942.2980 (ext. 216), fax: +84.4.942.2987; or Dang Van Tao, disaster management manager, email:, phone +84.913.361.581

Federation Southeast Asia regional delegation in Thailand: Bekele Geleta (head of regional delegation); email:; phone: +66.2.661.8201; fax: +66.2.661.9322; or Michael Annear, head of regional disaster management unit, email:; phone +66.817539598.

Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific department): Gert Venghaus (regional officer); email:; phone: +41.22.730.4258; fax: +41.22.733.0395; or Sabine Feuglet (senior assistant); email:; Phone: +41.22.730. 4349; Fax: +41.22.733.0395.


On 27 September 2005, Typhoon Damrey slammed into Viet Nam, lashing coastal provinces extending from Quang Ninh into Da Nang. Heavy rains and wind the following day triggered mudslides and flooding in the northern provinces of Yen Bai, Lao Cai and Phu Tho.

Thanks to early warning and good preparedness, almost 600,000 people were evacuated from their homes before Damrey made landfall. The Viet Nam Red Cross, along with the army and police, assisted in the evacuation. Vulnerable communities were relocated to safer areas while non-affected families hosted evacuees and worked alongside community members in reinforcing shelters and strengthening sea dykes. There were no fatalities in the coastal provinces. However, 69 people died 54 people were injured in the mountainous provinces because of storm-related flash floods and landslides.

Sea water penetrated inland by three to four km in coastal provinces after a sea dyke gave way. The resulting flash floods destroyed at least 1,194 houses and severely damaged another 11,576 houses. Up to 100,000 houses were affected as a result of the storm with the estimated damage to property at USD 209 million (CHF 256 million). In addition, several cattle, crucial to many livelihoods, were washed away. The disaster was a tremendous setback to Viet Nam's agricultural sector as subsistence farmers were among those who suffered the most. Thousands of people were unable to protect their sole source of income in the subsequent months as a result of the typhoon.

A joint rapid needs assessment in three provinces in the coastal area (Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh) found that some 200,000 people faced food shortages. Drinking water was scarce as a result of wells damaged by salt water along with disrupted water and electricity supplies. The affected provinces are home to some 22 million people, including 11 indigenous minority groups, a majority of whom live below the poverty level. Natural disasters such as Typhoon Damrey pose a constant threat and undermine some of Viet Nam's efforts to reduce poverty.

The Federation released CHF 200,000 from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the response of the Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) to Typhoon Damrey. On 5 October 2005, the Federation, on behalf of VNRC, launched an emergency appeal, seeking CHF 813,678 to support some of the most affected.

Donors have provided excellent support to the appeal, and the expenditure rate at the end operation is in line with the budget and funding levels. However, the final financial report has to be delayed for a month to allow time to resolve some internal pledge coding issues.

The one-year operation (from October 2005 to September 2006) was divided in two phases: i) emergency relief assistance and ii) long-term recovery assistance in terms of livelihoods and housing. All activities in the appeal have been carried out as planned.

An independent evaluation was conducted late August 2006 to assess how the VNRC and Federation responded to the needs, thus supporting organizational learning and accountability to stakeholders. The evaluation team included a Swedish consultant as team leader, a representative from VNRC headquarters and an interpreter. The team reviewed relevant material, including appeals, operational updates and evaluations, and consulted relevant stakeholders such as the central committee for flood and storm control (CCFSC), disaster management working group (DMWG), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (OXFAM), CARE and Catholic Relief Service.

The evaluation team visited the five most affected provinces in the coastal and mountain regions of Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, Phu Tho and Yen Bai. Meetings and interviews were carried out with VNRC and the Peoples Committee at provincial, district and community levels, as well as the CCFSC at provincial and district level. Group interviews with beneficiaries, fairly represented by age, gender and ethnic minorities, were carried out.

The evaluation reported positively on the operations where VNRC focused on both emergency relief as well as on rehabilitation and long-term recovery. The inclusion of long-term recovery initiatives, such as livelihoods and housing in the VNRC response was praised. Another outcome was that the capacity for long- term recovery in Viet Nam has often been slow because of a lack of cooperation, coordination and adequate funding. This has been particularly critical for poor households that often lose all their property and have limited or no access to rehabilitation and recovery funds. The evaluation reports in English and Vietnamese are available at the VNRC and Federation offices.

The VNRC and Federation organized a review meeting of the Typhoon Damrey operations in mid-September, which included representatives from Red Cross chapters and districts where activities were implemented. Reflecting on this operation helped VNRC headquarters and branches to institutionalize lessons learnt to improve future operations with recommendations of the evaluation report being used as a reference for this final report.


The VNRC participated in a rapid joint needs assessment on 28-29 September 2005 to three of the most affected provinces. Priority areas for immediate assistance and recovery were identified. A 'Damrey Appeal-Board' was set up at the VNRC headquarters to coordinate between VNRC and Federation staff in Hanoi.

At district and community levels, management boards and receiving units were established to manage and coordinate support to communities and hamlets. The VNRC was represented in many of these boards as well as in local committees for flood and storm control (at district and community levels) to mobilize funds and distribute relief. The VNRC, a member of the Fatherland Front and the CCFSC regularly shared operational information with fellow committee members to benefit overall coordination.

Both the VNRC and the Federation are members of the country's disaster management working group (DMWG). As such, the national society and the Federation carried out their response in close cooperation with the UNDP, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), OXFAM, the CCFSC, the ministry of foreign affairs, as well as other organizations. From the DMWG forum, all contributions and support have been shared among its fellow members to coordinate the response action.