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Viet Nam Humanitarian Background

Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters

Yes / No

Comments / Details




YesLow/Medium - According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Viet Nam has approximately 30 earthquake-prone areas


YesMedium - Outbreaks of known communicable diseases continue to occur regularly in Viet Nam and the region. Of particular concern is planning and preparedness for an influenza pandemic, a rare but recurrent event

Extreme Temperatures

YesLow - Cold spells affect Northern Viet Nam


YesHigh -. More than one million people are affected by annual flooding in Viet Nam

Insect Infestation



YesHigh - Landslides are a common type of disaster in Viet Nam, consisting of river bank erosion, coastline erosion, and landslides on mountain slopes, etc.

Volcanic Eruptions


High Waves / Surges

YesLow - Though a tsunami has not yet happened in Viet Nam, many coastal areas of Viet Nam may be affected by a tsunami due to the earthquake potential that exists in some neighboring countries.



High Winds

YesHigh - The storm season lasts from May to December The frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones originating in the Pacific have increased over the last few decades and pose as one of the major disasters affecting Viet Nam

Other Comments

Because of its topography, Viet Nam is susceptible to typhoons, floods, droughts, sea water intrusion, landslides, forest fires and occasional earthquakes of which typhoons and floods are the most frequent and most devastating hazards.

The storm season lasts from May to December with storms hitting the northern part of the country in May through June and moving gradually south from July to December.

 Given the massive concentration of its population along the coastline and in the low lying deltas, disasters cause a high loss of life and damaged livelihoods.

The encroachment of economic activity and development into marginally suitable areas such as floodplains, costal swamps, drainage channels or other natural buffers only adds to the vulnerability of the population.

Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife


International Conflict


Internally Displaced Persons


Refugees Present

YesNearly a half million people had settled in the West before the 1987 Comprehensive Plan of Action ended in 1996. 110,000 Vietnamese who risked pirates and drowning on the high seas in an attempt to gain asylum in the West were rejected and sent home, some after languishing for years in refugee camps around the region. The majority have successfully reintegrated, allowing UNHCR in late 1998 to significantly reduce 25 years of activity in the Southeast Asian nation.

Landmines / UXO Present

YesIn 2003, 166 casualties reported, down from 237 in 2001, however, estimates include 1,110 people killed and 1,882 injured every year on average

Other Comments


For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters:

Website of Emdat - Disaster Database

Calamities and Seasonal Affects

Seasonal Affects on Transport



From (month) to (month)

Primary Road Transport

Landslides, congestionMay to December

Secondary Road Transport

Landslides, congestionMay to December

Rail Transport

Landslides, congestionMay to December

Air Transport


Waterway Transport


Seasonal Affects on Storage and Handling (economic, social, climate…)



From <month> to <month>



May to December


No affect





Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response


The Government of Viet Nam holds primary responsibility for providing humanitarian assistance to people in need.

The United Nations Natural Disasters and Emergencies Program Coordination Group ( PCG 10) serves as a forum for UN agencies, including FAO, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNIFEM, UN HABITAT, WHO, IOM and WB.

The objective of this Preparedness Plan is to ensure coordination of UN assistance to the Government of Viet Nam (GoV) in respect to disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness, mitigation, relief/ rescue, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The National Disaster Mitigation Partnership is the Government of Viet Nam’s counterpart to the PCG 10. The PCG 10 is expected to maintain close coordination with their Government counterparts, the National Cluster Leads.

On the 5th ASEAN Regional Forum on Disaster Relief, (Dec 2005) the Vietnamese delegate stressed on the necessity inter-agency coordination, especially between the military and civilian agencies.

Illustrating the government response measures and capacities in providing humanitarian assistance, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) reports on the operations (IFRC DREF Final operations report, 8 July 2009) following the Typhoon Hagupit:

“Following the weakening of Typhoon Hagupit from a full-fledged typhoon into a tropical depression, heavy rains caused flash floods and landslides in 11 northern provinces of Viet Nam on 26-28 September 2008. Of these, the provinces of Bac Giang, Lang Son, Quang Ninh and Son La suffered the worst results. Flooding was severe in many areas, particularly in the Bac Giang province where up to 62 communes and towns in three districts were submerged. In Quang Ninh province, as many as 70 communes in six districts were under deep water... (…).

Response from the central government in the wake of the disaster was mainly through the mobilization of army troops to evacuate affected people to safer and higher places such as cement buildings. After the immediate emergency, the government also worked through the health sector to provide Chloramine B to purify water, or support in cash of VND 2 million (USD 115) per family who lost family members in the disaster.

Local governments in their respective provinces immediately reacted during the emergency by providing instant noodles and water to those affected. Later assistance was mainly from local donors such as entrepreneurs, religious groups or organizations in the form of cash, instant noodles, rice or cloth, but in limited quantities.”

4.1 Viet Nam Government Contact List

Humanitarian Community

4.2 Viet Nam Humanitarian Agency Contact List

Further Government and Humanitarian Community contact details can be found in the following document:

VNM Contacts list