|The Việt Nam Red Cross Society receives donations for victims of the recent Typhoon Damrey. — VNS Photo Gia Lộc|
HCM CITY — The Việt Nam Red Cross Society on Thursday launched a comprehensive programme to train members of the public in disaster prevention, provide targeted relief to victims and improve forecasting in the central region, which is battered by disasters every year.
Trần Thị Hồng An, vice chairwoman of the Red Cross, said local people would be trained in various skills to ward off natural calamities based on the situation in their locality.
“It is very important to improve people’s awareness of the need to take the initiative in [disaster] prevention.”
A website, www.mientrungyeuthuong.vn, is being set up to update weather and natural calamity forecasts from the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
A “map for disaster relief services” on the website will enable donors to choose how to donate.
Miền Trung Yêu Thương (Loved Central Region), as the programme is called, will be undertaken for at least five years.
Each year on average the central region suffers from 20 floods, storms and other disasters.
Nguyễn Tuấn Khởi, standing vice chairman of the society’s Sponsor Council, said it is vital to help disaster-affected people to settle their lives afterwards.
The programme also encourages affluent individuals to buy insurance against natural disasters, he said.
Businesses that want to can donate insurance policies to people who cannot afford to buy them, he added.
A rapid action team, which will be set up soon, is expected to improve the efficacy of disaster prevention and relief work.
At the launch ceremony the Red Cross received donations worth VNĐ5.4 billion (US$236.8 million) from its offices in 16 provinces and cities and companies for victims of the recent Typhoon Damrey. — VNS