North-western ethnic minorities equipped with disaster response skills hinh anh 1 Teachers of Nam Pam Elementary School in Muong La district, Son La province, encourage their pupils to go to school after the flooding in August 2017 (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) –As many as 57,000 ethnic minority people in Vietnam’s north-western provinces of Lai Chau and Son La have been equipped with knowledge about natural disaster and catastrophe prevention, and gender equality under a project funded by several foreign agencies.

The community-based catastrophe risk management with gender integration in ethnic minority-inhabited areas in Vietnam’s north-western region was implemented by the Vietnam Red Cross (VRC) with the support of the French Red Cross (FRC) via the Ready Fund, the French Development Agency and the American Red Cross (ARC).

A workshop held in Hanoi on October 5 to review outcomes of the project heard that between April 4, 2014 and September 2017, the project came to 12 wards and communes of Lai Chau and Son La provinces.

With a total budget of 39 billion VND (1.72 million USD), the project organised 36 exercises on natural disaster and catastrophe response for more than 2,200 residents and over 2,800 pupils and teachers of elementary schools; and provided training on natural disaster and catastrophe prevention, safe schools and emergency aids for 336 teachers.

It also helped to carry out 44 sub-projects on mitigating vulnerability in communes and schools, benefiting 3,500 local residents and 5,000 students.

During the period, 12 vulnerability and capacity assessments (VCA), which uses various participatory tools to gauge people's exposure to and capacity to resist natural hazards, and community-based disaster risk assessments were conducted, with the participation of more than 2,200 local officials and people.

Two provincial catastrophe response teams and 12 community action for disaster response teams were also established with a total of 320 members.

Of note, during the materialisation of the project, a gender integration framework was formed and implemented in all activities.

Speaking at the workshop, FRC Chief Representative in Vietnam Eric Legendre said the project has developed prevention, combat and rehabilitation skills for the community in the targeted localities.

Nguyen Thi Nhat Hoai, from the FRC, said the gender integration framework focused on improving awareness of women as well as their participation and leadership.

The project has developed a communication kit on reducing disaster risks using symbols and illustrations, which allows those who cannot read and write to understand how to prevent and combat natural disasters, she added. -VNA