UNFPA provides additional US$800,000 for Vietnam’s flood-affected women, girls

HCMC - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam has provided an additional US$800,000 for women and girls affected by recent floods in Danang City and eight provinces in the central region, raising its total aid to US$1.34 million.

A female teacher in Ha Tinh Province dries books in the sun for her students, while the schoolyard remains submerged under flood water on October 22 – PHOTO: VNA

The UNFPA had earlier provided aid worth US$540,000 for the flood victims in October.

The support included the distribution of Dignity Kits, with essential hygiene items and vital maternal health equipment such as the doppler fetal heart rate detector, which detects the heartbeat of a pregnant woman’s fetus.

In addition, UNFPA supported the delivery of mobile and outreach sexual and reproductive health services as part of the wider health sector response to violence against women and girls in flood-affected areas.

Between early October and mid-November, the central region and parts of the Central Highlands were hit by a succession of storms, which caused severe floods and landslides. Some 5.5 million people were affected, including over 1.3 million women of reproductive age and more than 92,000 pregnant women.

“When emergencies such as this strike, life changes in a moment. This natural disaster has already destroyed thousands of homes and forced people to flee. Women and girls are among the most vulnerable. Women do not need to die giving birth and this must hold true even in case of emergencies,” noted Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative in Vietnam.

“This contribution underlines our solidarity with the people of Vietnam, many of whom have suffered the loss of their homes, livelihoods and belongings in the wake of the devastating floods,” she added.

A joint rapid assessment carried out in October, in which UNFPA experts played a lead role, showed that in the most affected areas of central Vietnam, health facilities were hit hard by floods and landslides and routine public health programs such as antenatal, delivery, post-natal care and family planning services were disrupted. Women and girls continued to be unable to access basic healthcare services, including sexual and reproductive health.

The disaster forced women and girls to move to evacuation centers without having time to pack essential supplies. They were unable to manage their hygiene properly as a result and lacked access to basic needs such as sanitary pads, clothes and underwear.