UNDP pledges additional 1,450 flood-proof homes for Vietnam hinh anh 1Flood-resistant house models (Photo: Vietnamplus)

Hanoi (VNA) - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will help build additional 1,450 flood-resistant houses for poor households in coastal provinces of Vietnam in the coming time, UNDP representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen has said.

Wiesen made the statement during a workshop themed “Storm and flood resilient housing: Successful model in Vietnam and ways forward” which was held in Hanoi on May 13.

Since 2018, a total of 4,100 flood-proof houses have been built through the support of the UNDP and the Vietnamese Government, to increase the resilience of coastal communities who are vulnerable to the impact of climate change, particularly rising sea levels and flooding.

The UNDP representative emphasised that these safe houses contribute to securing the livelihoods of residents in coastal provinces by helping them to withstand subsequent storms which have made landfall in Vietnam over recent years, as well as the dangers of severe flooding.

She underscored the importance of ensuring that society’s most vulnerable people are not left behind, noting that the UNDP will continue to accompany the Government to build additional 1,450 flood resistant houses in coastal provinces from Binh Dinh to Ca Mau in the near future.

As Quang Ngai is among the first provinces of the project, 683 houses were built across its five coastal districts in the past four years, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Phuoc Hien said.

Phan Quy Phuong, Vice Chairman of Thua Thien-Hue People's Committee, highlighted the efficiency of flood-resistant houses during the historic flooding in 2020. These structures helped poor and disadvantaged households living in flood prone areas overcome challenges and quickly stabilise their lives.

At the workshop, representatives of management agencies from 28 coastal localities, Vietnamese and international experts and scientists shared practical experiences in building flood-resistant houses in the central coastal provinces, as well as the necessary skills which can help local people to overcome future natural disasters.

UNDP, through a Green Climate Fund-financed project, is supporting vulnerable communities to enhance their resilience to storms by providing climate resilient houses.

As documented in previous major floods of 2020, these storm resilient houses not only protect women and their families before, during and after storms, but the houses also often become safe havens for other vulnerable members of the community. They also enable women to re-start their livelihoods as soon as waters recede. 

Women have also participated in the design and construction of their houses. One by one, they are building an empowered frontline of women resilient to climate change, she added. 

UNDP through the GCF project has made an important contribution with 4,000 storm resilient houses, but there are still an estimated 100,000 houses required. These new resilient homes will help to meet the needs of vulnerable women and their households on the climate frontlines and should be delivered in the name of climate justice.

Promoting women’s stewardship, contributions, participation and leadership are key for successful climate and environmental solutions, Wiesen affirmed./.

Box: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is supporting Vietnam to enhance gender mainstreaming in the National Adaptation Plans so that it is more gender-responsive and better able to meet the needs, priorities, and challenges faced by women, according to UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen.

Wiesen stressed in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that women are hitting a glass ceiling that stops them from advancing to the highest levels of leadership in environmental protection and climate action.

The impacts of climate change are not gender neutral, she noted, adding that climate change often exacerbates existing inequalities between women and men, the poor and other vulnerable groups.

Numerous international climate policies, many that Vietnam is a signatory to, have recognised the dual objectives of reducing gender inequality. These policies are a key tool for delivering climate action and building resilience to the impacts of climate change.

It is clear that people who are poor, especially women and ethnic minorities, are most at risk from climate change because they have less ability to adapt to and deal with severe weather events such as storms, floods, and drought./.