Christian Groups Draw Attention to Typhoon-Hit Areas in Cambodia, Vietnam

( [email protected] ) Oct 21, 2009 12:39 PM EDT

While much of the attention following Typhoon Ketsana’s landfall has been upon the Philippines, where the death toll is nearly 900 and still climbing, a network of Christian groups is drawing attention to Cambodia and Vietnam, where the typhoon had also wrought havoc.

According to reports received by members of the Actions by Churches Together network, Typhoon Ketsana has resulted in the deaths of 163 people in Vietnam and at least 14 in Cambodia. And the flooding that followed has affected 10,684 families in Cambodia’s Kompong Thom Province and destroyed or damaged more than 258,000 houses while also affecting nearly 295,000 others in Vietnam.

“Church World Service and other members of the Action by Churches Together network are focusing efforts on the central province of Thua Thien Hue, [Vietnam], where there is a need for rehabilitation and recovery work with a strong, pro-active, rather than reactive, focus on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation,” CWS reported Monday.

The response, implemented primarily by Norwegian Church Aid, “focuses on up to 5,000 households in 10 villages and includes upgrading shelters; improved food security through strengthened livelihoods, including seed distribution; construction of wells and education on health and sanitation; and emergency preparedness training,” it added.

In Cambodia, meanwhile, CWS plans to assist 3,841 affected families, or 19,435 persons, with adequate and appropriate food and non-food items, and later, work to provide longer-term food security, as well as access to clean water, and improved sanitation and hygiene facilities.

“The focus will be on 41 villages in Kompong Thom Province,” the relief group reported. “Twenty-one villages will be assisted directly by CWS Cambodia and 20 villages will receive assistance implemented through CWS partners.”

In the second, early recovery stage, which will run through October 2010, CWS will promote food security and livelihood for the villages.