A Vietnamese farmer shows dead fish and shrimp in Mekong delta's Bac Lieu Province under extreme drought conditions on March 30, 2016. (Photo: VCG)
Germany committed to investing around $4.6 million in strengthening cross-border water cooperation among countries along the Mekong River.
The fund would be utilized to bolster dialogue related to trans-boundary water resource planning and management among the lower Mekong countries: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Mekong River stretching up to 4,350 km is one of the significant food baskets of the world, facing the worst impact on climate change, which has led to frequent floods and droughts in the region.
In order to help communities and governments to deal with the impact of rising temperature, Mekong River Commission (MRC), an inter-governmental organization was formed to enhance cooperation among the river's bordering countries.
"This continued contribution from Germany will help strengthen the MRC's efforts to bring about improved integrated and coordinated river basin planning and management at a time that the lower Mekong basin is experiencing rapid development and change," Pham Tuan Phan, CEO of the MRC maintained.
The funds spanning over a three-year period from 2019 to 2021 will be invested in projects relating flood and drought control efforts. "It (projects) will be implemented through a German technical development organization, an official letter from the Embassy of Germany said.
A considerable part of the funding will be invested in two joint trans-boundary projects between Cambodia and Laos, and Cambodia and Thailand. The objective is to study and manage the Mekong basin resources to harness flood and drought.
"These projects are currently in their piloting stage that will end this year and is being supported by Germany through a similar funding mechanism," an MRC press statement said.
Part of the grant will also go into "basket fund" to implement overall activities under the strategic plan 2016-2020. The basket fund helps MRC to address emerging needs in the region, benefiting more than 65 million people in the basin.
"Our financial commitment today will provide additional support to concerted efforts in the Mekong region by the MRC to ensure there is continued dialogue and strong cooperation among the Mekong countries," Bertrand Meinier, program director, MRC-GIZ Cooperation said.
Germany invested around 36 million US dollars in helping communities dependent on the Mekong basin to minimize the impact of climate change.