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FAO rapidly responds to severe drought in Viet Nam
Thursday, 2016/06/09 | 08:10:59

FAO Viet Nam is taking a leading role in response to a Government call for help in dealing with the country’s most severe drought in more than 60 years.


The 2015/16 El Niño weather phenomenon has left many parts of the country, especially the southern Mekong Delta, South Central and Central Highlands regions, in a state of emergency. Since mid-2015, 52 of 63 provinces – more than 83 per cent of the country – have been affected by drought, with 18 severely affected as of 11 May, 2016. This has left two million people suffering acute water shortages and requiring humanitarian assistance.


Crop damage has been severe in many vulnerable communities, with 60-90 per cent of planted crops harmed in drought-affected provinces and planting for the new season not possible until shortly before the next rainy season in one to two months. A total of 425 900 hectares of cropland, including 320 000ha of the staple rice crop have been damaged. Of the damaged rice crop, 155 009ha suffered losses of 70 per cent of production or more. In total, more than 600 000ha of the vital crop could be seriously affected by July 2016. As a result, an estimated 1.75 million people have lost their incomes due to the impact of the drought on the agriculture sector.


In response to this unprecedented emergency, the Vietnamese Government in mid-March 2016 requested FAO’s help as part of international assistance to respond to the drought and saltwater intrusion emergency. To underscore the magnitude and scale of the emergency, it was the first time the Government had called for international support since the historic 1999 floods, which affected seven central provinces.


The Vietnamese Government has led the way to respond to this crisis and FAO is committed to utilize its strategic comparative advantages to target those most critically affected by the drought and in urgent need of immediate, lifesaving support,” said FAO Representative in Viet Nam Jong-Ha Bae.


In response, FAO rapidly mobilized its resources to actively participate in a joint multi-sector rapid assessment from 21-24 March, 2016 in six of the worst-affected provinces selected on the geographical nature of drought/saltwater emergencies, representation of regional issues and needs and on-going UN programme interventions.


FAO also allocated USD92 000 of its own resources to carry out two field assessment missions.


See more: http://www.fao.org/vietnam/news/detail-events/en/c/416018/

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