Save the Children and Prudential Vietnam yesterday launched a programme in partnership to support communities in disaster-affected areas of Dien Bien, Hai Phong and Tien Giang. This three- year programme aims to increase the disaster preparedness and resilience of 6,000 vulnerable children and 30,000 community members.
The Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Vietnam project aims to improve the safety of 12 schools, reducing the risk and impacts of disasters, through training for teachers and children on disaster preparedness and methods to reduce the consequences of disasters. The project will also support communities to organise disaster prevention drills and develop plans for better resilience, as well as advocating for the use of risk reduction education in communities and schools.
The project is funded by Prudence Foundation and implemented by Save the Children in coordination with the Ministry of Education and provincial centres for flood and storm control from 2015 to 2017.
Every year, two million people are estimated to be affected by the frequent storms and typhoons that hit Vietnam. The majority of them are children who are living in high risk areas. In 2013, the country was hit by 13 storms including two devastating typhoons: Nari and Wutip which caused the death of 87 people and an estimated US$275 million of damages.
Wilf Blackburn, CEO of Prudential Vietnam said: “Prudential Vietnam’s mission is to touch and enhance every Vietnamese household. As a leading provider of insurance, reducing and mitigating the impact of risk is of utmost importance to our business. CSR is an effective way for us to reach out to as many people as possible and children are always one of Prudential Vietnam’s priorities. They are the future of any country, but unfortunately, are often the most vulnerable. We have initiated a number of child-focused activities to date such as offering scholarships and our Breath of Life campaign to help newborn babies, which have been well recognised by the government, local authorities and communities.”
“In 2015, there will be many other projects and initiatives focusing on children and this DRR project is one of them. We are very happy to have Save the Children as the partner for this meaningful programme, from which thousands of children will benefit. In the event of an emergency they will be able to protect themselves and help keep others safe.”
Save the Children’s Country Director Gunnar Andersen said: “Save the Children has 20 years of experience in emergency response and disaster risk reduction in Vietnam. Children are always the most vulnerable during emergencies and Save the Children works to ensure they are safe and protected”.
“In partnership with Prudence Foundation, we work closely with local partners to support vulnerable communities, including children, to better prepare for natural disasters. We have provided them with knowledge and skills in order to reduce the negative impacts of natural disasters, and to build a more comprehensive and effective model of child-focused, community-based disaster risk management in disaster prone provinces. By empowering individuals, this project is expected to have a long lasting impact on communities which will ultimately save lives.”
Prudence Foundation has been supporting DRR programmes in Vietnam since 2012. In collaboration with Save the Children, the Foundation has previously funded a project to increase awareness of disaster risk reduction and the possible negative impacts of climate change for children and community members in disaster prone locations in two Mekong River Delta provinces of Dong Thap and Tien Giang from 2013-2014.
Read in Vietnamese Press Release – March 30 – Vietnamese