2.5 million children affected as multiple natural disasters strike Viet Nam

Vietnamese children face great challenges due to devastating floods and storms that hit Viet Nam since early October.

Since early October parts of central Viet Nam have received unprecedented rains that, combined with three powerful tropical storms – Linfa, Nangka and Molave – have caused flooding and devastation; killing at least 174 people, and displacing thousands of people.

Over 7.7 million people live in the 9 provinces affected by the natural disasters. Water levels in some areas have reached the highest point in over two decades. The storms have also damaged vital infrastructure, including electricity and roads, leaving many communities cut off from assistance and protection.

The successive storms caused extensive damage to running water networks, sanitation facilities, schools, clinics, houses and communal infrastructures. Over 2.5 million children are at risk of diseases due to lack of access to drinking water and from the unhygienic environment.

Approximately 380,000 houses have been flooded, damaged or destroyed. For many families whose houses were blown off, all their furniture and possessions were washed away. Their food stocks have been lost and for the most part they have no access to clean water for drinking, washing and cooking.

Thousands of people have been moved to evacuation centres, which are themselves flooded, resulting in difficult health and hygiene conditions for the displaced people, primarily women, children and elderly.

Many health centres have been damaged leaving mothers and children unable to receive basic and preventative health care so important in such times of heightened disease risk. Routine health care such as vaccination and child nutrition consultations are also disrupted.

Many schools across this entire central region have suffered extensive damage and have been closed for the past weeks, resulting in the loss of precious learning time for students, a situation already constrained by COVID-19.

Families who have children with disabilities have lost their in many cases their livelihood, but their primary concern is to be able to reach centres for their children receive specialized care.

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