Speaking at a ceremony held in Hanoi on May 22 to mark the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep described the preparedness against natural calamities as a primary mission for the whole year, and asked relevant organizations to raise citizens’ awareness of the work to ensure safety during flood seasons.

Information technology should be deployed to disseminate necessary information to the community, he said, stressing that it is crucial to prevent natural disasters and mitigate their consequences.

Severe drought in the Central Highlands

Within the framework of the ceremony, the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) rolled out a flood-resilient housing design contest.

Previously, the steering committee had also launched the National Week for Natural Disaster Preparedness and Control in Hai Phong city on May 14, aiming to encourage all-level authorities, organizations and people to stand ready for disaster combat.

The communications work has been prioritized with a focus on vulnerable groups like the elderly, people with disabilities, women, children, and ethnic minority people.

The increasing intensity and devastation of natural disasters have left critical losses of human life and assets in Vietnam, thus badly affecting local livelihoods as well as the country’s sustainable development.

Vietnam recorded historic calamities in 2016 with prolonged drought and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta region, and floods in the central region that caused economic damage worth more than VND 39.7 trillion (USD 1.69 billion). Meanwhile, natural disasters left 264 people dead and missing, and cost the country some VND 60 trillion in economic losses.

Although natural disasters in 2018 were not as fierce as those in the previous two years, they still left 224 people dead and missing, as well as caused VND 20 trillion in economic losses.

Source: VNA