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UNDP assists Mekong Delta in drought response efforts

VGP - The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) signed an agreement on Tuesday to help the Mekong Delta cope with drought and saltwater intrusion.

03/18/2020 03:53

The UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen hands over Global Emergency Fund's aid to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep

The agreement was signed by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep, head of the Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction, and UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam Caitlin Wiesen.

On the occasion, Wiesen also presented US$185,000 funded by the Global Emergency Fund to the MARD to support the Mekong Delta’s responses to drought and saltwater intrusion.

As part of its assistance, the UNDP has provided 300 water tanks for affected households in Ben Tre province and offered livelihood support for 176 others in Ca Mau province.

Viet Nam’s prolonged drought, coupled with an extensive buildup of salinity, have driven five provinces in the Mekong Delta’s rice bowl to declare a state of emergency.

The Mekong Delta, which produces more than half the country’s rice, has so far seen a total of 33,000 hectares of rice fields damaged and nearly 70,000 households suffer from the lack of water.

Salinity of four grams a liter will continue to spread in the Delta, affecting as much as 110 kilometers in some major estuaries this month, according to a report by the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research in Ho Chi Minh City. That’s three to five kilometers more than in the same period in 2016.

By Thuy Dung