Aid package helps localities cope with drought, saline intrusion hinh anh 1Drought in Mekong Delta (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister has approved an aid package worth 523.7 billion VND (23.5 million USD) for 34 localities across the nation to address the consequences of drought and saltwater intrusion during the 2015-2016 Winter-Spring crops.

Earlier in February, the Government leader also agreed to provide 85.1 billion VND (3.8 million USD) for six localities to counter drought and saline intrusion in the 2015 Summer-Autumn crops.

It is predicted that drought and saline intrusion will peak in March, but will last until June.

Across the Mekong Delta – the country’s largest rice producer, As many as 140,000ha of rice has been damaged so far, nearly 90,000 ha of which resulted in a 70 percent loss.

In the 2015-2016 winter-spring crop, there are 339,200ha of rice in coastal Mekong Delta provinces prone to saltwater intrusion and drought, accounting for 21.9 percent of the region’s total rice area, 104,000ha of which have already been severely impacted.

If the drought prolongs till June, nearly 500,000ha of rice will have to remain unsown, equivalent to over 40 percent of the total area of coastal provinces and 30 percent of the overall cultivation acreage in the region.

More than 150,000 regional households with 600,000 people are lacking fresh water.-VNA