Disaster Risk ManagementDisaster risk management
Natural disasters like typhoons, floods, tropical storms, droughts, landslides, forest fires, and occasional earthquakes are constant threats to Viet Nam’s natural environment, its sustainable development and to its people, especially the poor. In 1999, natural disasters claimed more than 800 lives and caused US$300 million in property damage. Later, three consecutive years of flooding in the Mekong River Delta killed nearly 1,000 people, mainly children.
For 15 years, UNDP has been working closely with the Government, local communities and international partners to help prepare and respond to disasters, as well as bridge the gap between emergency relief and long-term development.
UNDP brings its global network of experience and expertise to help break the cycle of poverty and natural disasters. In the past, UNDP mainly provided technical support and coordination, it now supports Government planning and management of natural disaster risks.
With innovation in approach and technology, UNDP encourages communities and local officials to work together to prevent natural hazards from becoming natural disasters.
Mitigation through information
UNDP has helped the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control to establish the Disaster Management Unit. This Unit has improved disaster mitigation and management of information throughout Viet Nam through the use of information and communications technologies. The Unit has also helped prepare a Second National Strategy and Action Plan to mitigate and manage disasters up to 2010.
Working with the Viet Nam Red Cross, and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies with funding from Luxembourg, UNDP developed a disaster preparedness training programme for local communities.
In its second phase, the Unit is using new technology to develop disaster mitigation and management programmes being tested for implementation throughout Asia, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Building Partnerships for Disaster Mitigation
UNDP, along with NGO and donor partners, has played a leading role in helping the Government develop a way for the three groups to work together for disaster mitigation (NDM-Partnership). The partnership, which focuses on central Viet Nam but will eventually be extended nationwide, aims to strengthen policy formation, information sharing and coordination of and raising more financial resources.
Coordination of emergency relief
In addition to maintaining close contact with international UN emergency relief agencies, UNDP works through the United Nations Disaster Management Team in Viet Nam. This group aims to coordinate emergency relief among UN Agencies and NGOs in collaboration with the Government and the Red Cross. The Team’s focus is shifting from providing only emergency relief to rehabilitation and long term prevention/mitigation.
UNDP aims to help Viet Nam integrate disaster risk management into its national and local development, and facilitates capacity development and work to foster cooperation within national agencies and the donor and NGO communities.