As Typhoon Damrey made its destructive landfall in Viet Nam last November, UNDP immediately began work with other UN agencies, the Government, and civil society to lead an Inter-Agency Joint Needs Assessment in the fifteen affected provinces. Results showed a pressing need for housing recovery, leading UNDP to secure US $1 million from the Government of South Korea for housing recovery assistance. Based on damage levels, 300 households in three provinces were selected to receive cash for reconstruction of their houses.
The main beneficiaries of this project are the poor and near poor, with priority given to women-headed households, elderly-headed households, and households with people with disabilities, whose houses were damaged by Typhoon Damrey. The selection was carefully executed by the Red Cross, Vietnam’s Women’s Union and local authorities to ensure fairness and transparency. All the new houses apply flood and storm resilient designs which are approved by the Ministry of Construction.
UNDP is aware that housing is often the single largest asset owned by individuals and families, therefore building resilient houses is central to the adaptive capacity of most households in the coastal zones of Viet Nam, like Quang Nam, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa. In addition to building 300 new houses, UNDP also provides trainings and educational activities which help vulnerable people and communities, as well as the public, have access to knowledge on typhoon-resilient housing principles. In addition, providing training and engineering support to put ‘build-back-better’ principles into place were a key element of this Project.
Overall, the project is making impressive progresses. All the 300 houses have been commenced concurrently in the three provinces. As of now, 30 houses have been completed and have provided safe and secure living conditions for the beneficiaries. In a couple of weeks, another 50 houses will be completed. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by October 2018, two months ahead of schedule.