The Hanoitimes - Measures to mitigate impacts of natural disasters and climate change on children were discussed at a conference jointly held by the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Hanoi on May 18.
Participants also shared knowledge and experience in children-oriented disaster risk mitigation, while seeking ways to intensify cooperation in this field. Based on the outcomes of a national conference on children-oriented disaster risk mitigation held in the central province of Ninh Thuan in December 2016, this conference continued promoting cooperation within the framework of the Law on Disaster Prevention and Control, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Mitigation and sustainable development goals.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, head of the central steering committee, said that Vietnam annually suffers a variety of natural disasters which cause huge asset and human losses. In 2016, disasters left 264 people dead or missing, and 431 others injured, causing an economic loss of 39.7 trillion VND (1.74 billion USD).
UNICEF Chief Representative Youssouf Abdel-Jelil said that climate change impacts are unavoidable, but the Sendai framework gives priority to investing in reducing the impacts on children at their early ages as this is an important period for their development.
Decreasing vulnerability of children is a long-term strategy to improve the community’s resilience, he said, calling on the Vietnamese Government and its development partners to maintain investment in children-oriented disaster risk mitigation.
Since August 2016, the UNICEF and the Vietnamese Government have provided emergency aid for children and women hit by drought and saline intrusion in 10 provinces of the Central Highlands, the coastal south central region and the Mekong Delta sourcing from the Japanese government and the CERF. Nearly 140,000 Vietnamese people have benefited from the effort.