Vietnam, JICA to Cooperate Further in Responding to Natural Disasters: Officials

Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will further cooperate in preventing and fighting natural disasters, officials of both sides have agreed. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong had a working session with a delegation from the JICA, led by its Chief Representative Shimizu Akira, in Hanoi on June 1 to discuss the issue. At the meeting, Mr. Cuong noted that both sides hold huge potential for further collaboration in the field, as the two countries have suffered more and more severe impacts of natural disasters. Vietnam is one of the five nations hardest hit by climate change while Japan is experienced in natural disaster fighting, he noted. Minister Cuong proposed JICA quicken the project on improving the capability of easing impacts of flash floods and landslides in Vietnam’s northern mountainous area, which was approved by the Japanese government. Mr. Shimizu Akira, for his part, affirmed the JICA’s efforts to boosting the progress of the project. Besides, a project on water management in the Mekong Delta is expected to help ease risks and damages caused by drought and saltwater intrusion. JICA also wants to continue working with Vietnam to deal with problems related to agricultural and natural disasters in the Mekong Delta. Annually, natural disasters claim the lives of 500-600 people in Vietnam. The figure has declined to 300-400 per year recently. The economic losses caused by natural disasters are equal to 1.5% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). (Bo Nong Nghiep & Phat Trien Nong Thon, mard)