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USTDA AWARDS GRANT TO ADVANCE FLOOD FORECASTING AND EARLY WARNING DETECTION SYSTEM IN VIETNAM

HANOI, VIETNAM (August 17, 2009) – USTDA awarded a $582,853 grant to Vietnam's Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) on August 14th to establish the foundation for a disaster management system. The implementation of this program will help to mitigate the impacts from natural disasters, including typhoons with high winds, floods, and landslides that regularly affect the lives of citizens throughout Vietnam. Flooding in particular has had devastating effects on Vietnam's infrastructure and communities, thus emphasizing the need to implement a strategic plan for disaster mitigation. The system will help to forecast floods, assess their potential impacts, and disseminate warnings to the appropriate disaster managers and civil authorities. Acting Director Zak and Director General Le Van Minh signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. government and MARD, respectively. MARD's Minister Dr. Cao Duc Phat and U.S. Ambassador Michael Michalak were present and witnessed the grant signing.

“This USTDA-supported project will strengthen MARD's flood forecasting, early warning and disaster management capabilities, enabling MARD and the Disaster Management Center to develop an effective system that will become a core component of Vietnam's disaster management infrastructure” Acting Director Zak stated at the event.

MARD is the lead administrative body in Vietnam responsible for flood control programs and oversees the Disaster Management Center, which serves as the executing agency to implement the strategies for the flood and storm control. MARD has chosen the Pacific Disaster Center of the University of Hawaii to provide the technical assistance in the implementation of this disaster management system.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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