UNDP Supports Vietnam’s Mekong Delta in Response to Drought, Salinity

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on March 17 signed an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to support localities in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta in responding to drought and saltwater intrusion, local media reported. On the occasion, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Weisen handed over an $185,000 funding from its Emergency Fund to the MARD to initially support two provinces of Ben Tre and Ca Mau. The funding will grant 300 water tanks to locals in Ben Tre and improve livelihoods for 176 households in Ca Mau. Besides, the UNDP will evaluate the impacts of drought on livelihoods, locals’ access to fresh water, and the delta’s land subsidence, as well as hold policy dialogues on drought and salinity prevention, technology application in updating natural disasters’ damage, including those caused by drought and saltwater intrusion. At the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep said that Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is experiencing the most severe drought and salinity period ever. Locals are struggling to find enough water for their daily lives and production. Earlier last week, the UNDP’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved a $30.2-million funding for a project to address water insecurity issues and support climate-resilient agriculture for vulnerable smallholder farmers in Vietnam’s south-central coast and Central Highlands regions. (Nong Nghiep Viet Nam, nongnghiep)