Flash Update No. 3 - Drought and Saltwater Intrusion in the Mekong Delta
25 March 2020
This update is issued on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 27 February to 25 March 2020. The next update will be issued once new information becomes available.
Since the last quarter of 2019, severe drought and saltwater intrusion conditions have been detected and have begun to significantly affect people across 13 provinces1 in the Mekong Delta region.
Seasonal weather forecasts indicate that the level of severity will continue to increase, peaking in March to May 2020.
On 15-17 January, the Central Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control (CCNDPC), INGOs, Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) partners and the UN, conducted a joint multi-sector rapid assessment and published a joint assessment report.
On 1 February, IFRC launched a three month Disaster Relief Emergency Funding (DREF) operation to support VNRC to assist affected people in Ben Tre, Bac Lieu, and Tra Vinh.
On March 3, the UN reaffirmed its commitment to working closely with the Government, Viet Nam Red Cross, INGOs, and bilateral institutions to best respond to unmet needs of affected people, as well as supporting the Government to recover, rehabilitate and build back better.
As of 7 March, five provinces have declared a state of emergency.
On March 8, the PM while visiting affected areas, agreed to declare natural disaster in five Provinces and announced VND 350 billion to support relief efforts.
The COVID-19 outbreak is putting an additional socio-economic pressure on vulnerable households already affected by drought and saltwater intrusion.