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Climate change to hit urban poor the hardest

Update: June, 19/2014 - 09:05
A couple on a three-wheeler in HCM City. The urban poor are typically the most vulnerable to the climate change impacts in Viet Nam, a new study has found. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phan

QUY NHON (VNS) — The urban poor are often the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in Viet Nam, and housing insecurity for the urban poor is a key dimension of poverty.

The London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), which has been engaged in research in Viet Nam for 20 years, revealed part of its findings yesterday at a workshop on urban poverty reduction and resilience in Viet Nam.

The three-day workshop, with the participation of urban practioners, officials and community representatives, discussed experiences and shaped priorities around urban poverty reduction and resilience in Viet Nam.

Professor Diana Mitlin, Principal Researcher in the Human Settlements Group at IIED and Professor of Global Urbanism at the University of Manchester, said: "While evidence suggests that the most disadvantaged face acute problems, and these may be increasing, there are a number of initiatives that suggest positive ways forward both for Viet Nam and Asia more generally."

According to IIED research, Viet Nam is urbanising rapidly, and is forecast to be 45 per cent urban by 2020, up from the 30 per cent recorded in the 2009 census.

Smaller urban centres have higher levels of poverty than large cities.

The research suggests this needs to be seen in the context of high exposure to the impacts of climate change in Viet Nam including more frequent storms and floods as well as indirect impacts on food security, health and livelihoods.

The workshop was co-organised by the IIED and the Association of Cities of Viet Nam, and funded by UK aid from the Department for International Development. — VNS

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