The central province of Quang Nam, one of the most disaster-prone areas in Vietnam, is looking towards the expansion of a project helping people with disabilities join the community in disaster risk mitigation.

The programme worth about 10 billion VND (471,700 USD) was funded by the German non-governmental organisation Malteser International and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A meeting was held in the province on June 12 to review how the project has panned out since it was kick-started in three districts of Duy Xuyen, Dien Ban and Dai Loc in April 2012.

Participants heard that nearly 35,000 residents in low-lying and landslide-prone areas, including people with disabilities, have actively participated in evacuation exercises in case natural calamities occur.

The project particularly focuses on the disabled, as they are among the most vulnerable from natural hazards, said Sae Kani, an expert in the field.

According to the World Bank, Vietnam is ranked as the seventh most exposed country in the world to multiple natural hazards, including floods, tropical cyclones, tornados, landslides and droughts. About 60 percent of the total area of the country and 71 percent of the population are exposed to cyclones and floods.

In 2013, Vietnam was hit by no less than 15 tropical cyclones. Therefore, the Government has been taking disaster response preparation very seriously.-VNA