10 November 2011, Hanoi and Bangkok — The Viet Nam Red Cross is appealing to the international community for 1.1 million Swiss francs to assist 42,000 people who have been affected by the worst floods to affect the country’s Mekong Delta in more than a decade.
The main focus of the National Society will be on providing cash and relief items (household kits and tarpaulins), safe water and hygiene promotion, emergency health (focusing on disease prevention and health promotion), permanent shelter and livelihoods support.
“Up until now, we have distributed more than 3,000 household kits, along with three million water purification tablets and more than 1 billion Vietnamese Dong (equivalent to about 50,000 US dollars) in cash support,” said Mr. Doan Van Thai, vice president and secretary general of the Viet Nam Red Cross.
“We have been doing a lot, but the needs are severe, and we need this assistance to extend our support and reach people who have been so seriously affected.”
Floods began in the Mekong Delta in the middle of September. According to the Government, almost 600,000 people have been affected in seven provinces, with 73 deaths. 65 of these have been children. In all, more than 125,000 houses have been inundated and more than 10,000 acres of rice paddies lost.
Conditions are expected to remain grim for at least two to three months.
“The most vulnerable are the families who are both poor and landless. These families have typically no land, few savings and survive on daily wages by offering their labour or fishing locally,” explained Bhupinder Tomar, the Viet Nam representative for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
“Their livelihoods have been disrupted as fields and aquaculture farms remain submerged. We will provide 1,500 of these families with cash grants for boats and fishing nets to provide them with a sustainable source of income.”
The Red Cross will also support 200 particularly vulnerable families to rebuild homes destroyed by the floods, as well as reaching 10,000 families with vital information about health and disease risks.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 186 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
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