UN assesses flood situation in Mekong Delta area

A United Nations Disaster Assessment and Co-ordination (UNDAC) team held a press conference in Hanoi on October 10 to announce briefly the team's assessment on the flood situation in the Mekong delta.

This was an especially serious flood in the past 70 years in the region, causing great damage in property and lives of the people as well as basic infrastructure on a large scale, said Mr Vladimir Sakharov, head of the team. According to the team's assessment, 315 people in Mekong delta provinces, including 234 children, were killed. Thousands of children have had to stay away from school.

UNDAC praised efforts by the Vietnamese people in the flooded areas in fighting floods and said that measures taken by the Vietnamese government to fight floods and overcome the aftermath were very significant, timely and efficient, contributing to minimising the losses in property and lives and preventing hunger and epidemics.

Foreign countries, international and non-governmental organisations committed to providing US $4.056 million as of October 5. Representatives of UN agencies in Vietnam including UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA and the International Red Cross Society have taken part in relief activities.

"If no further downpour occurs, the worst is almost over," said Mr Sakharov. "However, the flood aftermath is very serious and on a large scale. Further, emergency assistance from the international community is very essential to address the consequences of the floods," he continued.

Mr Nguyen Van Le, deputy head of the Central Board for Flood and Storm Control, said he agreed with the UNDAC assessment. He spoke highly of the team's activities in Vietnam and thanked the UN agencies in Vietnam and the international community for their assistance.