VIETNAM CARE responds to South East Asia flooding

 Cambodia, Vietnam
 Emergency Response
 13th Oct 2011

GENEVA (October 13, 2011) – CARE emergency teams in Vietnam and Cambodia are responding to South-East Asia’s worst flooding in a decade which has left more than 500 dead and more than a million people homeless.
Death tolls are still rising across Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.  Areas in this region face high tides this weekend which will further restrict aid reaching those already in dire need of assistance.
Vietnam has reported 43 deaths, 31 of which are children, from flooding in the Mekong Delta and CARE has received unconfirmed reports that more than 230,000 people have been affected with more than 6,500 hectares of rice fields destroyed in the flooding.

Vietnam is the world's number-two rice exporter and the flooded Mekong Delta region accounts for half the country's rice production. CARE’s Country Director in Vietnam, Peter Newsum said that floodwaters have devastated the regions of An Giang. Long An and Dong Thap in Vietnam.

‘Tens of thousands of people are stranded, have lost their homes and are in urgent need of food, water and shelter,’ Mr Newsum said.

At this stage 17 of Cambodia’s 23 provinces are considered emergency areas and floodwaters are expected to remain high for the days ahead.  CARE understands that 13 per cent of the nation’s rice harvest is at risk of destruction which will cause significant impact on future food security and livelihoods.

CARE believes that over one million people in Cambodia have been affected.  More than 200 deaths have been reported, half of which were children.   Latest estimates report that 32,000 people have been evacuated with approximately 70 per cent of those evacuees being women and children, as men are staying behind to take care of what was left of their property and livelihoods.

CARE is responding to those most in urgent need of emergency supplies, with an immediate focus on the Cambodian province of Prey Veng which is one of the worst affected areas.  It is expected that the situation in Prey Veng will deteriorate in the next few days as the flooding peaks.

CARE Country Director in Cambodia, Stav Zotalis said at this time the three greatest needs for flood victims were immediate food needs, water / hygiene and livelihoods.

‘Home stocks of food have been destroyed by the rapid rise of flood waters and evacuees have not been able to take sufficient food with them because of the flood water. CARE’s priority now is to distribute food and non food items such as mosquito nets, hygiene kits and water filters for clean water storage,’ Ms Zotalis said.

‘Human and livestock disease will quickly become a major issue as water is up to waist height in some places. The poorest houses and shacks are inundated which means preventing disease is a major priority,’ she said.

Media Note: CARE staff in Cambodia and Vietnam are available for interview.
Media Contact: Sean Burton (Australia), 0419 567 777

About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid agencies, headquartered in Switzerland. In over 70 countries, CARE works with the poorest communities to improve basic health and education, enhance rural livelihoods and food security, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, and provide lifesaving assistance after disasters. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.

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