Conference reviews 17 years of disaster preparedness programming in Vietnam
The Viet Nam Red Cross Society, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development jointly hosted a conference to review 17 years of disaster preparedness projects supported by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO).
The initiatives for disaster risk reduction (DRR), driven by funding from ECHO’s Disaster Preparedness programme, better known as DIPECHO, have established a strong foundation for DRR work throughout Vietnam. In 2009, the government strengthened its support by establishing a national community-based disaster risk management programme (Decision 1002). It provides the foundation for disaster risk reduction actors to implement community-based activities, scale up capacity for local institutions, and conduct advocacy on further policy development.
“DIPECHO support over the past 17 years, which has mobilized the participation from many organizations, especially the Red Cross which has participated in every round of DIPECHO, is taking us in the right direction in supporting communities to face disaster risks in Vietnam,” said Dang Quang Minh, deputy director of the Disaster Management Centre.
The Viet Nam Red Cross Society has established, trained and equipped national provincial and commune disaster response teams to supplement government efforts at all levels thanks to DIPECHO support over the years. The National Society improved the vulnerability and capacity assessment tool, so that it is more inclusive to the needs of women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities. The Red Cross has also supported the development of a regulation to guide the implementation of the national community-based disaster risk management programme.
Following the Sendai framework, findings from the evaluation of DIPECHO support in Vietnam highlighted the need to improve understanding of disaster risks, strengthen legal frameworks for disaster risk management, invest in disaster risk reduction for resilience, and enhance disaster preparedness for effective response and “build back better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
“I’d like to praise the efforts taken by the Government of Vietnam and congratulate the partners who have been working hand in hand with the different ministries and institutions,” said Mr. Edward Turvill, ECHO’s disaster risk reduction coordinator for Asia and the Pacific. “We’ve seen a number of good practices and successful models in Vietnam, which we would like to see replicated elsewhere. Our focus here will now shift to building resilience in urban settings and contributing to the ASEAN safe school initiatives, but should there be a need for international assistance in responding to future disasters, we of course stand ready, and our response will systematically integrate DRR features”.
The event, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the German Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross, is part of the DIPECHO 9 project, which was implemented in August 2014 and will end in 2015. Some 100 representatives from the MARD and relevant government agencies, civil society organisations, international and domestic NGOS, the Viet Nam Red Cross Society, IFRC and Red Cross partners in Vietnam and the region, ECHO and national media attended the event. Through 9 action plans in 17 years, ECHO has supported 13.2 million Euros to benefit 6.4 million people in 23 cities and provinces through 41 DIPECHO projects in Vietnam.