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US supplies Vietnam with additional emergency drought assistance

Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 10:50 GMT+7

The U.S. government has provided an additional US$500,000 in emergency assistance to help those who have been affected by the worst drought and saltwater intrusion Vietnam has faced in decades, the American ambassador to the Southeast Asian country announced on Tuesday.

The 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, according to Ambassador Ted Osius.

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

Twenty-two out of 63 Vietnamese provinces and cities have been impacted by the recent drought and subsequent intrusion of saltwater into the Mekong River Delta, which are negatively impacting people’s livelihoods.

With this new funding, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is working with the Vietnam Red Cross to provide water containers, saltwater filtration systems, water purification tablets, and disseminating good sanitation and hygiene practices to help prevent the spread of diseases.

The United States announced the initial disaster relief grant in April, the first assistance from an international partner, to help Vietnam respond to the drought and saltwater intrusion.

The latest aid took the U.S. government’s assistance to response to emergency and recovery operations to $850,000.

Since 2000, the United States, through USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, has provided approximately $12 million in disaster response, preparedness and risk reduction assistance for Vietnam.

USAID programs have reached more than one million people in nearly 150 communities with disaster preparedness services.

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