Delegation of the GMS Red Cross visits Ben Tre

On May 16,
2007, a mission of Red Cross delegation from the Greater Mekong Subregion paid a
first visit to Ben Tre province. The delegation was led by Ms Irja Sandberg, a
representative from the International Red Crescent Society (a component of the
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, IFRC). The
delegation includes National Red Cross representatives from Laos, Thailand, and

The purpose
of the visit was focused on the extent of the devastation caused by last year's
typhoon Durian. At the same time, the guests also wanted to exchange experiences
with the host on works to prevent and fight against storms and typhoons, how to
recover in the aftermath of the disaster, and how to make it fastest to transfer
relief aid to the exact victims.

At the
reception, Mr Huynh Van Cong, Chairman of the Provincial Red Cross Society,
briefed the guests about the damages that were actually caused by typhoon
Durian. In the aftermath works, the volunteer and the swift-response task forces
of local Red Cross units coordinated with the army forces help people remove
ruins of their houses smashed by the storm. For the aid work, the provincial Red
Cross Society timingly transferred aid goods and money syphoned in from the
National Red Cross Society as well as donations by foreign Red Cross Societies.
Relief aid rations were delivered to the right victims, with a priority given to
the poorest and the hardest hit ones.

Also at the
talks, the foreign guests asked questions about how to select the poor
households for deploying the construction of typhoon sheltering houses, which
were sponsored by the International Red Crescent Society itself. They also
queried the host on how to disperse relief aid goods to the victims and how to
give first aid.

After the
talk, the delegation went for a reality check in the Dai Hoa Loc Commune, Binh
Dai District. They promised to support Ben Tre with more relief aid in the

Translated by

Truong Hung