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Jun 17, 2023 / 16:23

UNFPA supports Vietnam for better ASEAN disaster resilience

UNFPA’s humanitarian support matters a lot in the regional efforts switching from passive response to proactive prevention.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has affirmed its support in collaboration with the Vietnam Disaster and Dyke Management Authority (VDDMA) to strengthen Vietnam’s resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

 An event marks the commitment by UNFPA and VDDMA held earlier this week in Hoi An. Photo: UNFPA

The commitment is aimed to enhance the well-being of the affected population in humanitarian crises amid efforts to promote disaster management capacity among ASEAN member states.

The joint efforts by UNDFPA and VDDMA were highlighted at the 42nd meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) in Danang, Vietnam earlier this week to discuss solutions to move "From Response to Anticipatory Action and Resilience: ASEAN's Journey Towards Global Leadership in Disaster Management".

The theme emphasizes an orientation switch from passive response to proactive prevention.

The event gathered delegates from ASEAN member states, the ASEAN Secretariat, the bloc’s development partners: China, South Korea, and Japan, and a number of international organizations.

The meeting discussed the implementation progress of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Program for 2021-2025, youth’s ideas for a resilient region, a communications framework for disaster risks facing the bloc, financial regulation, among others.

The Vietnam Disaster and Dyke Management Authority has collaborated with many countries and international organizations to implement projects and programs on disaster and dyke management. VDDMA has partnered with UNFPA to establish and co-chair the Gender-Based Violence in the Emergencies Sub-Sector of the Humanitarian Country Team framework.

  Representatives of ASEAN member states and its partners gather at the event in Danang on June 3. Photo: VNA

UNFPA, as a leading UN agency for sexual and reproductive health, is on the ground before, during and after crises to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights and responses to gender-based violence are integrated into emergency responses.

During the period from 2020 to 2022 alone, UNFPA’s humanitarian support to Vietnam reached USD1.4 million, focusing on providing sexual and reproductive health services, and on preventing and responding to gender-based violence against women and girls.

Particularly, UNFPA distributed vital medical equipment and supplies to district and commune health facilities in 11 flood-affected provinces, replacing those that were damaged or lost due to the floods.

UNFPA also established nearly 400 mobile health service delivery teams to reach out to nearly 76,000 vulnerable people with the majority being women. It also provided 21,000 Dignity Kits and text messages via mobile phones on GBV for nearly 9 million people in the flood-affected provinces in central Vietnam.

UNFPA Representative for Vietnam Naomi Kitahara stressed the significance of UNFPA humanitarian work. To contribute to Vietnam’s resilient and long-term development, UNFPA’s support aims to achieve Zero preventable maternal death, Zero unmet need for family planning, and Zero gender-based violence (GBV) and other harmful practices against women and girls,” she said.

She affirmed that UNFPA will continue to use innovative approaches to ensure rights-based, gender-sensitive, and people-centered approaches in humanitarian preparedness and response. 

Pham Duc Luan, the Director General of the Vietnam Disaster and Dyke Management Authority valued UNFPA’s significant humanitarian support to the Vietnamese people who were affected by natural disasters such as floods, typhoons, and landslides.

He confirmed that further cooperation would mitigate the negative impacts of natural disasters and climate change and enhance ASEAN’s resilience.

It is critical that all partners work together towards a future where no one is left behind, and every person, regardless of their circumstances, can live a life of dignity, opportunity, and hope.

 Authorities in Vietnam's Thanh Hoa Province check local dyke. Photo: VNA