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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Vietnam, UN to build storm-proof housing for coastal communities

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Thousands of families on Vietnam's typhoon-battered coast will receive free storm-proof houses, which can help pull them out of poverty, government and United Nations officials said.

Vietnam is one of 10 countries most affected by climate change, according to the latest annual Climate Risk Index published by the research organisation Germa-nwatch. Coastal residents are particularly vulnerable as storms increase in frequency and intensity.

They are often trapped in poverty, accumulating debt or spending savings to rebuild or repair their homes, businesses and possessions. "There is a really strong link between poverty and being able to accumulate assets, and housing is one of the major assets," said Jenty Kirsch-Wood, a senior technical advisor at the UN Development Program (UNDP).

"If we can get some these highly vulnerable people into safe houses, it not only protects their lives, but also their assets and small businesses."

-Reuters, Kuala Lumpur

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