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The Asia Foundation Wins USAID’s OFDA Recognition of Excellence for Innovation and Learning in Disaster Risk Reduction 2012 Award

Program helps small businesses in Vietnam improve disaster preparedness and response

Lars Peter Nissen of ACAPS and Anna Bantug-Herrera of The Asia Foundation participate in a discussion on disaster risk reduction at the 2012 Annual OFDA NGO Partner Consultations. Photo: Sara Westrick Schomig, USAID

Washington, DC, October 19, 2012 — On October 15 in Washington, D.C., USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), recognized The Asia Foundation’s “Public-Private Partnerships for Disaster Management (Vietnam)” program as 2012 winner of the Recognition of Excellence for Innovation and Learning in Disaster Risk Reduction. The Asia Foundation formally accepted the award at the 2012 OFDA NGO Partner Consultations, where the Foundation’s assistant director to Washington, D.C., Anna Bantug-Herrera, presented on a panel moderated by Director of OFDA, Mark Bartolini, and OFDA’s Senior Policy Advisor for Disaster Risk Reduction, Laura Powers.

Every year Vietnam endures an average of 8 to 10 extreme weather events and natural disasters. In the first program of its kind in Vietnam, The Asia Foundation creatively links small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with government and community groups to improve disaster preparedness and response. Since April 2011, through support from OFDA, the Foundation is helping small businesses in Vietnam to prepare for regular floods and storms. The innovative project has built resilience and helped strengthen public-private partnerships for DRM and disaster relief activities in Da Nang, Nghe An, Khanh Hoa, Hue, and Binh Dinh.

The Asia Foundation works closely with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), other business associations, as well as government and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Among its key achievements, the project has developed a disaster risk management (DRM) training curriculum for SMEs, formed a group of 20 master trainers, and trained more than 500 individuals, including staff from over 300 SMEs, in five coastal provinces prone to natural disasters. The Foundation is also working with VCCI to provide technical assistance for selected businesses to complete and test their DRM plans and establish networks of support.

For over 17 years, The Asia Foundation has been helping communities across Asia strengthen their resilience to natural disasters and the increasing threats from climate change The Foundation is cultivating leadership among local and national governments, building the capacity of vulnerable communities, and engaging the private sector in disaster risk management.

The Asia Foundation has been supporting Vietnam’s transformation since 1993 through a network of committed partners in government, the private sector, and civil society.

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