30 May 2019

Viet Nam child centred risk assessment

In 2017, Viet Nam ranked sixth in the list of countries most affected by climate - related disasters globally (Eckstein et al., 2018). In the last few decades, the combined effect of natural disasters and climate change has resulted in severe impacts on children and their families in Viet Nam, and particularly on those most disadvantaged. These include children living in poverty, with disabilities, belonging to ethnic minorities or migrant children. Globally, these vulnerable groups are known to be up to four times more likely to die or be injured in a natural disaster than the general population (Myiagi Prefecture, 2012), and they are significantly more prone to long-term adverse implications such as lost education potential, malnutrition and abuse. A recent case in point was the 2015-2016 El Niño season, which saw the most severe drought in more than 60 years  hit Viet Nam. During this event alone, over 520,000 children and one million women were impacted by severe malnutrition and acute water shortages.  Short to long term impacts such as those observed after the 2015-2016 droughts occur systematically after each and every natural disaster. With the frequency of these events increasing due to climate change, there is a concern that vulnerable children and their mothers will be more severely impacted by natural disasters in the future.  The Government of Viet Nam is committed to reducing the risks, and has taken steps to identify and implement appropriate and targeted prevention measures. In this context, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the GoV’s focal agency for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control (NDPC)  has entered a new partnership with UNICEF on Child-Centered Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience. As part of this cooperation, MARD and UNICEF Viet Nam have implemented an innovative approach to assess and map risks of natural hazards on children. Child-Centred Risk Assessment (CCRA) use accurate, child-specific vulnerability indicators to find out where and why children are most at risk. The information collected allows pro-active planning of disaster risk reduction measures, and ensures that appropriate preventive actions are thus maximising the efficient use of the financial resources targeted to the key issues in locality.  To date, with technical support from UNICEF, Child Centered Risk Assessment (CCRA) studies have been successfully undertaken in eleven countries in the East Asia and Pacific Region.