Natural disasters: Reducing risks and protecting lives and livelihoods

19 Jul 2011

Ha Noi – About 457 people die each year in Viet Nam because of natural disasters. The estimated annual economic loss is equivalent to 1.3 percent of GDP or about USD3.6 billion (2010 GDP). And climate change and degradation of the ecosystem means the vulnerability of people to disaster risks is increasing.

Drought is also increasingly affecting Viet Nam, with the impacts disproportionately felt by poor, rural households which depend on rain-fed subsistence agriculture. It is estimated that the 2005 drought in Viet Nam caused damages worth USD110 million.

These issues were discussed at a meeting on 19 July, which also reflected on the findings of the 2011 Global Assessment Report for Disaster Risk Reduction – Revealing Risk, Redefining Development.

The meeting, co-chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the UN Development Programme, brought together ministries, donors, NGOs and the media.

During the meeting, participants discussed the risk trends in Viet Nam and suggested actions for risk management. Viet Nam, for instance, needs to introduce a more comprehensive legal framework and strengthen the institutional capacity for disaster risk management. Disaster risk management should also be fully taken into account in the implementation of the next five-year Socio-Economic Development Plan, as well as in sectoral and provincial plans. Finally, funding to disaster risk management needs to increase and the government should ensure there is adequate financing to help low-income households and communities recover after disasters.

See also:

Fact sheet on disaster risk reduction in Viet Nam
Speech by UNDP Country Director at the launch of the report