UN Response to Flooding in Central Provinces

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An initial US$600,000 pledges for flood victims

The United Nations has made a preliminary pledge of nearly US$600,000 to assist the victims of the recent massive flooding in central provinces.

UN Resident Co-ordinator Edouard A. Wattez said that the UN Disaster Management Team yesterday met for the second time since the floods began to further assess and prepare a co-ordinated and effective response to the disaster. "Seeds for the next planting season from mid December; fuel for tractors; food; and construction materials have been identified at the meeting as the most needed items in the affected areas," said Mr Wattez.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is providing an immediate emergency response with 760 metric tonnes of rice to support the most needy, approximately 42,000 people. This US$200,000 worth of assistance will be channeled through the Red Cross.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has preliminarily pledged $175,000, especially for logistical support to ensure that emergency materials and suppliers are delivered as quickly as possible to the places they are most needed.

Apart from its immediate relief of $51,000 already provided last week through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will also provide, as its second phase of assistance, another US$60,000 through its traditional counterparts, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education, and the Training and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Each ministry will receive US$20,000.

The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva has pledged $40,000 and mobilised another $40,000 from the Government of Norway, also for logistical support. The Office has, in collaboration with the UN Disaster Management Team in Viet Nam, closely mornitored the flood situation.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will work with the Ministry of Health to provide three metric tonnes of water purification materials for the people in the central provinces who are desperately lacking clean water. WHO has earlier provided $5,000 as immediate relief aid to the flood victims.

Other UN agencies are currently developing support plans, and additional commitments are expected shortly to provide necessities and specific inputs for rehabilitation and resumption of production.

The UN Disaster Management Team expressed its appreciation to the Government for having set up the Special Committee for Relief Co-ordination and promised to keep the committee informed of donor assistance for better co-ordination.

The Team will meet again next week to further monitor the situation and join forces in assisting the Government and people to overcome this disaster.

Latest data indicates that 577 people have been killed and as much as US$266 million has been lost as a result of the flooding.

Up-to-date reports on the current situation and needs' assessments from central provinces are available on the UN-sponsored disaster management communication system at http://www.undp.org.vn/dmu