Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
This year’s forum aims to gather and set up a network of agencies, departments, experts and scientists to reach a common understanding on how FbF can contribute to the improvement of the community’s resilience against natural disasters.
It also aims to share and exchange experiences on FbF among domestic and international agencies and organisations. Through the discussion, the participants worked out a roadmap towards institutionalising the FbF approach in Vietnam.
As reported by the Vietnam News Agency, VRCS President Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said at the opening that Vietnam is one of the countries suffering most from natural disasters and global climate change. Her association has always identified disaster prevention and response as one of the strategic key tasks.
Over the past years, the VRCS has actively participated in the Government’s Project 1002 on “Public awareness raising on community-based disaster risk management” and set up disaster response teams from central to local levels. The association planted 24,000 ha of mangroves in 11 provinces and cities, built over 30,000 disaster-resistant houses and maintained 44 disaster prevention centres and 26 emergency response stations.
President of the Vietnam Red Cross Society, Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, speaks at the forum. (Photo: baonhandao.vn)
Since 2017, the number of FbF projects in Asia Pacific has increased significantly. FbF has been implemented in 16 countries around the world, including six in the Asia Pacific, namely Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Vietnam.
The VRCS has piloted the FbF approach in its “FbF Ready” project since 2017, in order to implement early response activities to cope with the heat affecting vulnerable groups (the elderly, children, masons, motorbike drivers, street vendors, etc.) in Hanoi and Da Nang, including establishing sun shelters and providing sun-shelter buses equipped with cool towels, fans and free drinking water.
The society has also developed a FbF action plan supporting 21 provinces and cities to develop disaster impact forecast maps, as well as finalising the action plan and incorporating the FbF approach into the VRCS’s development strategy orientation by 2030.
The FbF is a new approach – based on forecasting and disaster risk analysis, using funding to take early action for humanitarian activities. The FbF approach aims to optimise the application of technology, data and weather forecast information from global and domestic networks to implement early actions and response before disasters occur to protect the lives, properties and livelihoods of vulnerable groups. FbF is considered an effective approach to contribute to improving community resilience to natural disasters, while helping to promote cooperation among scientists, national governments, research institutes and the private sector to improve the effectiveness of disaster forecast, preparedness and response.