Viet Nam’s vulnerability to climate change puts its children at high risk of physical and psychological injuries after natural disasters, according to experts.
Viet Nam’s vulnerability to climate change puts its children at high risk of physical and psychological injuries after natural disasters. Photo: tamguong.vn
They were speaking at a conference on building a social security system that helps families in disaster-prone areas cope with shocks after natural disasters held in Ha Noi on Wednesday.
At the conference, experts discussed findings from research conducted in Thuan Bac and Bac Ai districts in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan.
Children living in these areas often suffered from poor health and respiratory infections after a long period of drought and air pollution, according to the research.
Water shortages in droughts led to lack of hygiene and low food quality, causing digestive diseases in children under five years old, it said.
Several children had their education disrupted when moving with their parents to new places, it said.
Listed as the seventh most affected by climate change, Viet Nam has seen vulnerable groups, especially children, being severely impacted by regular natural disasters such as floods and droughts, since they are dependent on parents and caretakers, according to experts.
When it came to emergency assistance in disasters, many children were overlooked since their households were not classified as ‘poor’ and ‘near poor’, which are the groups prioritised for assistance by the social welfare system, they said.
Necessities such as rice and water were, in some cases, not what the children needed most, they added.
To improve the quality of social work during disasters, experts said each locality must find ways to strengthen financial resources.
Communities should recognise the importance of child care and protection; and parents and children should be equipped with skills to respond to disasters.
More research should be conducted on different forms of post-disaster support. Children’s needs should be catered, especially those living in mountainous areas, experts said.