PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the conference. (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The combat against natural disasters is the task of the entire political system and society, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a conference of the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control in Hanoi on March 29.

The PM said the work requires the effective use of resources of the State, organisations and individuals, and puts people on the centre of the effort.

He lauded the establishment of the General Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control as a right decision as the unit works efficiently in consulting the Government, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and other relevant agencies to steer responses to natural disasters.  

Scientific and technological advances and traditional experience should be utilised at the same time in the effort, the leader said, asking agencies and localities to make natural disaster response as part of their socio-economic development plans.

Apart from increasing resources for the combat, localities need to step up international cooperation, while paying attention to the communications work and personnel training in this field, PM Phuc said.

He highlighted the participation of businesses in this realm and underlined the need for Vietnam to materialise its international commitments to natural disaster response.

Another task is to improve institutional tools and policies on natural disasters, the leader said, urging the Government’s Office to acquire proposals of ministries, agencies and localities and submit to the Government and the PM in order to serve the issuance of a resolution on natural disaster prevention and control in the coming time.

Vietnam is one of the five countries hardest hit by natural disasters. Over the past two decades, natural disasters left over 400 people dead and missing each year, caused economic losses of about 1-1.5 percent of GDP, and affected people’s living environment and conditions, as well as socio-economic activities and sustainable development of the country.

In 2017, a record number of 16 typhoons and four low pressures occurred in the East Sea. Natural disasters cost the lives of 386 people in the year, damaged more than 600,000 houses and caused economic losses of about 60 trillion VND (2.64 billion USD), with the worst being typhoons Doksuri and Damrey.-VN