Vietnam urged to watch out for disaster risks amid erratic weather patterns

Thanh Nien News

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Cars and motorcycles drive on a road getting flooded due to high tide water and rain in Ho Chi Minh City in October last year. Experts have warned that the southern part of Vietnam is among areas in the world affected by the rising sea levels. Photo: AFP Cars and motorcycles drive on a road getting flooded due to high tide water and rain in Ho Chi Minh City in October last year. Experts have warned that the southern part of Vietnam is among areas in the world affected by the rising sea levels. Photo: AFP

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The United Nations has called on Vietnam to have sufficient and predictable funding for its disaster management program, warning that extreme weather conditions will continue to hit the country. 
Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, said Tuesday that Vietnam ranks among the top 10 countries affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events such as storms, floods and heat waves. 
Since the 1970s disasters have caused more than 500 deaths annually in Vietnam, and cost more than 1.5 percent of GDP in economic losses.
According to Vietnam’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution submitted to the UN last month, these costs could well rise to 3-5 percent of GDP by 2030.
Since the 1970s disasters have caused more than 500 deaths annually in Vietnam"
The first 10 months of this year has illustrated increasingly erratic weather patterns with unseasonably large floods, cold spells, acute heat waves, serious droughts, historically high rainfall and severe landslides, according to a report by the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention.
Mehta said it is important to have sufficient and predictable funding for deepening and broadening the implementation of the National Community Based Disaster Management Program.
Over the past five years, the program has made significant progress to actively engage more than 1,700 communities in risk reduction.
She said the participation and contribution of the private sector is essential for the successful implementation of the government’s strategies and plans to cope with climate-induced risks.
It is important that individuals, organizations and agencies from both public and private sectors should have access to systematic risk data such as historical disaster loss and damage and future climate change projections, she said.

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