FAO in Viet Nam

First phase of FAO-led drought forecasting project wraps up


Hanoi, Viet Nam. Four vulnerable communities in Gia Lai and Ca Mau are now better prepared for the onset of drought thanks an FAO Viet Nam-led two-year pilot project which wrapped up with a workshop in Ha Noi today. 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) worked with a sister agency UN Women as well as Save the Children to implement the project ‘Drought Forecast Based Financing for Food Security and WASH in Viet Nam (OSRO/702/VIE/EC, 2017-2018)’ in Gia Lai and Ca Mau provinces, with funding from the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).

Under the project, a forecast-based financing (FbF) or early warning early action (EWEA) mechanism for drought was developed for Gia Lai and Ca Mau, in the Central Highlands and Mekong Delta respectively, which are regularly affected by drought. With FbF, forecast information is used to act in anticipation of an extreme event, rather than responding. The EWEA system translates warnings into anticipatory actions to reduce the impact of specific disaster events. It focuses on consolidating available forecasting information and putting plans in place to make sure pre-defined early actions taken when a warning is at hand. Acting early before a disaster has actually happened or reached its peak is critical: it can save lives and protect livelihoods from the immediate shocks as well as protecting longer term development gains by increasing the resilience of local communities over time..

The first phase of the project has helped to the provinces to localize the drought forecasting model that officer more accurate and reliable forecast to provincial authorities for their decision-making. The first phase has also contextualized the early actions that are then integrated into the commune disaster risk management plan.

“Building on the achievements of the first phase and lessons learnt to be formulated at this workshop, I hope the project can continue into a second phase, aiming to standardize the implementation process and institutionalize the EWEA or FbF into the government disaster risk management system. We will continue our fruitful cooperation in helping rural communities better prepare for and to become more resilient to disasters,” said Albert T. Lieberg, FAO Representative in Viet Nam.

The workshop provides a number of policy recommendations for institutionalization of EWEA/ FbF into Vietnam disaster management system and allocation of financial resources for early actions in the future. “I hope the second phase of the project can generate more concrete evidence of the effectiveness of this system, which could facilitate us to advocate for enabling policy environment for scaling up the system” said Doan Thi Tuyet Nga, Director of Department of Technology and International Cooperation, Vietnam Disaster Management Authority, MARD

Workshop participants included representatives from Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority, UN agencies, Red Cross, non-governmental organizations as well as from Gia Lai and Ca Mau provinces.

During the workshop, participants also shared new initiatives on FbF-EWEA and lessons learnt from the first phase of piloting the FbF-EWEA model for drought as well as explored the scaling-up and institutionalizing of the FbF approach in Viet Nam.