New Zealand Embassy Ha Noi, Viet Nam

Building resilience to disaster and climate risks in South Vietnam

Fresh water collection and storage containers provided through the project

New Zealand is contributing NZ$5 million to a disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation project in the southern province of Ben Tre, Vietnam.

The Building Resilience to Disaster and Climate Risks of Men and Women in Ben Tre Province is a five year project which will help communities and local authorities in the Mekong delta to adapt to climate change and be more resilient to disasters.

The Mekong Delta is home to 22% of Vietnam’s population and produces half the nation’s rice output, 60% of its seafood, 80% of its fruit crops and accounts for 90% of total national rice exports.

However the region is vulnerable due to rising sea levels, flooding, salt water intrusion, typhoons, droughts and rising temperatures, all of which adversely impact agriculture, incomes and water sources for the people of Ben Tre.

It is thought that the project will directly benefit around 100,000 local people and 1,000 officials at the commune, district and provincial levels. Another 300,000 people in the target area are likely to indirectly benefit from the project’s emergency preparedness and livelihood adaptation activities.

Oxfam UK, an international NGO, will carry out the activity in 15 coastal communes in the Binh Dai, Thanh Phu and Ba Tri districts.  Oxfam will focus on boosting capacity in disaster risk management with local community’s engagement; raising incomes and food security via promoting adaptation and diversified livelihoods; and reducing the likelihood of water-borne diseases by providing clean water for the locals.

First Secretary, Development, New Zealand Embassy in Hanoi, Kathryn Beckett said New Zealand is very pleased to join the Government’s efforts to address disaster and climate risks in South Vietnam through community based initiatives.

“Improving resilience and responding to disasters is one of the four priority themes of the New Zealand Aid Programme, and we hope the project will act as a success model for other provinces in Vietnam, and for other countries in the Mekong region,” she said.

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