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Quang Nam, 29 April 2021 – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the People's Committees of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai provinces, and the Red Cross have completed the repair and reinforcement of storm-resilient features for more than 3,323 damaged houses and provided 3,323 gender-responsive household kits for poor and near-poor households in these five provinces. This emergency assistance is part of the project "Response to Disasters in Viet Nam," funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). In addition, UNDP has supported the construction of 20 new safe houses with full storm- and flood-resilient features in Quang Nam and Quang Ngai, especially those in Ly Son Island, Quang Ngai Province have more resilient features and powered by solar panels.

 Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Representative, Mr. Nguyen Van Tien, VNDMA Deputy Director Generaland Leaders of Quang Nam Provincial People's Committee handing over houses to the people

Since last October, central Viet Nam was impacted by a series of successive intense storms and record-level floods. According to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, more than 230 people were reported dead or missing, and at least 380,000 houses were flooded, damaged, or destroyed. In the aftermath, tens of thousands of the most vulnerable were left with nothing but damaged houses, destroyed livelihoods, and ruined crops. Many people lost almost all of their household possessions to the floodwaters, and many others became homeless. This made the lives of the poor and near-poor, who already have minimal resources, even more difficult to manage without receiving external support.

Speaking at the handover of the new resilient and repaired houses to local low-income households, Mr. Tran Van Tan, Vice-Chairman of Quang Nam Provincial People's Committee, said “We highly appreciate UNDP’s efforts and timely assistance in building and repairing damaged houses for the poor to help them recover from disasters. In recent years, UNDP has also supported the construction of more than 430 resilient houses within the framework of other projects, and has provided a lot of practical and meaningful support to local people. We hope to continue to receive this support to help vulnerable people have a better life."

Representing poor households who received the resilient house at the handover in Quang Nam province, Ms. Luu Thi Phuong living in Que Thuan commune, Que Son district thanked UNDP, Provincial People's Committee and the Red Cross “Without this support, I don't know when my sons and I will be able to build such a resilient house.”

"It is an honor and privilege to hand over UNDP supported storm resilient houses to Ms Phuong and other poor women-headed households in Quang Nam," Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam said.

"Our resilient houses have saved thousands of lives during the historic floods and storms that battered the central region. However, there is still a long way to go to reach all those in need. For this reason, UNDP a is also organizing a crowdfunding campaign ‘Safe houses save lives’ to support the construction of an initial 100 new houses in highly vulnerable locations of Quang Binh with further construction of resilient houses planned in Que Son district of Quang Nam Province, and Ly Son Island of Quang Ngai Province. In particular, our houses in Ly Son Island will have a new and strengthened design addressing the special conditions of the wind forces impacting the islands, and a rooftop solar system capable of providing sufficient lighting system for the households,” she added

Joining the handover ceremony, Mr. Nguyen Van Tien, Deputy Chief of the Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, said “I highly appreciate UNDP's coordination, which goes directly to the essential needs of the people in disaster-affected areas. These activities not only solve problems for immediate post-disaster recovery, but are also sustainable for the communities where disasters occur frequently, such as in Central Viet Nam.”

In addition, with the support of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Government of Viet Nam, and UNDP, more than 430 safe houses able to withstand storms and floods have been built for the poor and near-poor in Quang Nam province from 2018 to the present.

On the same day, UNDP also organized a closing workshop of the project "Response to Disasters in Viet Nam" in Quang Nam province. The workshop was attended by leaders of Quang Nam Provincial People's Committee, representatives of Red Cross, Women's Union, and poor households in the five coastal provinces.

 Tạ Ngọc Tân

Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation