Charity launches disaster mitigation program in Vietnam's Mekong Delta

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Charity organization Save the Children on Wednesday launched a year-long project to reduce the risk of disasters in the Mekong Delta provinces of Tien Giang and Dong Thap.

The 132,000-pound (US$199,000) project in partnership with the Prudence Foundation Vietnam aims to increase emergency preparedness and resilience of 3,500 children and 14,000 adults living in coastal areas that face a high risk of disasters.

Through training in emergency preparedness, rescue drills, and other life-saving skills at school and in the community, the project seeks to raise awareness of disaster risk reduction, strengthen children's and their communities' capacity, and build a culture of disaster resilience in communities.

Tien Giang and Dong Thap are periodically hit by disasters, and the situation is worsening due to climate change.

Children are particularly vulnerable and more likely to be injured or killed in a disaster. In the most recent floods in the Mekong Delta in 2011, children accounted for over 90 percent of the total casualties.

"Save the Children believes that while children are vulnerable, they also have the potential to effectively communicate risks and act as agents of change in their communities", Save the Children chief Doan Anh Tuan said.

Speaking at the launch, British ambassador to Vietnam, Antony Stokes, stressed the importance of education about climate change and emergency preparedness for communities in Vietnam.

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