Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Comprehensive and effective social support is a powerful tool for increasing resilience to shocks, helping vulnerable households build and diversify their livelihoods, skills and assets in response to climate change.
This is the message delivered at a consultation workshop on social assistance for disaster risk management and shock-responsiveness in Việt Nam organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The result of a study on social assistance for disaster risk management and shock-responsiveness in Việt Nam was reviewed at the workshop held in Hà Nội on Monday.
It is part of a project led by the Food and Agriculture Organisation working in four Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar and Việt Nam.
In Việt Nam, the study was conducted in Lào Cai, Nghệ An and Cà Mau provinces from March 31 to April 15 this year. It focused on staff involved in disaster risk prevention, social protection and humanitarian activities at all levels and people.
Việt Nam is among the countries most heavily affected by climate change. It is estimated that 71 per cent of the population and 59 per cent of the country’s area are vulnerable to natural disasters.
Natural disasters consume about 1-1.5 per cent of GDP annually, hindering economic and social development. The poor and vulnerable populations are more likely to be affected because their income is heavily dependent on weather and housing conditions and they have less access to savings and credit.
The study pointed out a number of advantages and disadvantages in accomplishing the social support policy towards risk prevention and response to shocks in the country.
Though natural disaster relief work was regulated in Government Decree No 136/2013/NĐ-CP, its coverage is still temporary and not sustainable. Financial resources depend largely on the State Budget and the assistance was too limited to address the natural disaster’s consequences. Emergency social assistance proved to be not timely, suitable and efficient while cumbersome administrative procedures were also obstacles to timely support.
The study recommended that it was necessary to complete policies on regular social assistance, emergency social assistance system and develop financial strategies.
Participants at the workshop agreed on the need to set up and strengthen human resources for dissemination work, and due investment should be paid to infrastructure and equipment for agencies engaged in natural disaster prevention.
It was also necessary to coordinate closely between agencies as well as the wider participation of domestic and international social organisations in mobilising all financial and human resources for the effective implementation, they said. — VNS