In response to the ongoing drought and saltwater intrusion which impacts large parts of the Mekong Delta in southwestern Vietnam, the European Union is providing €60,000 (VND 1.5bil) in humanitarian funding to assist the most affected populations. The aid will directly benefit 24,000 people in some of the worst hit provinces in the region.
This EU funding supports the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC) in delivering much-needed assistance, including the provision of safe drinking water and the promotion of good hygiene and health care practices to the families that have been heavily impacted by the shortage of fresh water supplies. Disease prevention campaigns will also be provided to mitigate the risks of water-related diseases.
The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s agricultural and aquacultural hub, has since the beginning of the year witnessed a climate change-induced drought, which has resulted in a shortage of fresh water supply in many areas. The water scarcity has caused severe saltwater intrusion in 10 out of 13 provinces throughout Mekong Delta, with saltwater intruding 30-40 kilometres further inland. The current conditions have affected crop production in the predominantly agricultural region, threatening food security, livelihoods and access to water for consumption, domestic use and production activities for close to 700,000 people in the area.
The European Union together with its Member States is the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.
Through its European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the European Union helps over 120 million victims of conflicts and disasters every year. For more information, please visit ECHO's website.
The European Commission has signed a €3 million humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.
The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The contribution agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of €3 million.
For further information, please contact:
Peter Biro, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO): email@example.com