Globally, Viet Nam is the sixth most affected country by climate change. Each year, increasingly intense and unpredictable weather events cause fatalities and extensive damage to infrastructure, such as schools and health centres, and impact on the livelihoods of already disadvantaged communities in urban and rural areas.
Children are especially affected by these natural disasters. Access to food, water, education and healthcare is threatened and the pressure on communities – resulting from loss of income and assets – increases children’s exposure to violence, exploitation and abuse. Women also tend to be disproportionately impacted, further increasing negative effects on children, as they may be less able to provide sufficient nutrition or care.
“Climate vulnerability affects more than 74 per cent of the population, especially the poor who lack resilience to shocks, while urbanization has increased the vulnerabilities of migrant families who have limited access to social services.”
These trends are forecast to intensify over time. By 2050, an expected rise in average temperatures by 1-2 degrees Celsius will likely result in higher incidences of droughts with greater intensity and increased rainfall leading to a one-metre rise in sea levels along coastal regions. This will have life-changing impacts on lowland regions with no adaptation measures, with nearly half of the Mekong Delta region – critical for food security and the nation’s economy – particularly at risk. For communities, this will mean reduced incomes and crop yields, degraded natural resources, loss of assets and infrastructure, reduced mobility with no access to work or services and increased human diseases, with resulting decreased labour productivity.