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U.S. offers Vietnam $500,000 to handle effects of climate change

By Bui Hong Nhung   July 5, 2016 | 09:03 pm PT
U.S. offers Vietnam $500,000 to handle effects of climate change
A dried paddy field in the Mekong Delta region. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long.
The U.S. was the first country to respond to Vietnam's plea for international support.

U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius announced on July 5 that the U.S. Government has provided an additional $500,000 to help locals affected by the worst drought and saltwater intrusion in Vietnam for nearly a century, the government portal reported yesterday.

“This additional aid will support vital programs to ensure that tens of thousands of people in need can harvest rainwater and have access to safe drinking water,” said Ambassador Osius.

The U.S. has already donated $350,000 in support.

“It further demonstrates America’s steadfast commitment to helping Vietnamese people recover from the repercussions of this devastating drought and other impacts of climate change.”

It is estimated that climate change has cost Vietnam about $287 million so far this year. Twenty-two of Vietnam’s 63 provinces have been hit by the recent drought and subsequent intrusion of saltwater. More than 1.5 million people are without clean water, and more than 400,000 hectares of crops have been ruined.

With this new funding, the U.S. Agency for International Development is working with the Vietnam Red Cross to provide water containers, saltwater filtration systems and water purification tablets, as well as sanitation and hygiene practices to prevent the spread of disease in affected areas.

The U.S. announced the initial disaster relief grant, the first assistance from an international partner, to help Vietnam respond to the drought and saltwater intrusion in April. Since then, the country has provided Vietnam with $850,000 to counter effects of climate change.

It’s estimated that since 2000, the U.S, has provided approximately $12 million to Vietnam through assistance programs.

Related news:

Vietnam calls for $48.5 million to respond to worst drought in 100 years

Japan offers $2.5 mln in emergency aid to help Vietnam combat drought

Historic drought costs Vietnam $670 million

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