The UN Development Programme and the Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development signed an agreement on March 17 to support the Mekong Delta’s response to drought and saltwater intrusion.
The signing ceremony in Hanoi saw the presence of Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep, head of the Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction, and UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen.
Amid severe drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta and in response to the appeal by the Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction, the UNDP has coordinated with the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority to send working groups to assess the situation in the region and provide information as a basis for other members in the Partnership to give support.
The UNDP also presented an aid package worth 185,000 USD funded by the global emergency fund to the MARD to help the Mekong Delta cope with drought and saltwater intrusion.
As part of its assistance, the UNDP has provided 300 water tanks for affected households in Ben Tre province and offered livelihood support for 176 others in Ca Mau province.
It has also carried out assessment of drought impacts on locals’ livelihoods and access to freshwater, supported policy dialogue on disaster prevention and control, and helped with the application of mobile technology to keep updated on damage caused by natural disasters.
The Mekong Delta region has been badly hit by saltwater intrusion. Experts have warned that the region will have to suffer prolonged drought and saline intrusion during the rest of this year’s dry season.
With the country overwhelmed by fear of the novel coronavirus, another even more severe threat is slowly approaching in the south: the death of the Mekong Delta.