Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Facebook partners with the Mekong River Commission to provide early flood and drought warning

Mekong River in Vientiane

Vientiane, Lao PDR/Hanoi, Viet Nam, 31 August 2020 – Facebook and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat today launched a collaboration initiative to provide early flood alert and drought monitoring information to riparian communities and governments in the Lower Mekong region.

The first of its kind, the collaboration aims to raise awareness among the general public in the four MRC Member Countries – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam – about the MRC’s flood and drought information systems and to build capacity for relevant officials on the use of online digital systems during 2020-2021.

“At Facebook, we always look for new ways to support development efforts in this region,” said Ms Shanti Alexander, Asia-Pacific Community Affairs Manager at Facebook. “With a suite of tools that supports communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters and build resilience, we’re pleased to partner with the MRC to keep millions of people in this region informed on possible floods and drought so that they are better prepared for a crisis.”

According to a United Nations report on Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters, the last two decades have seen direct economic losses from climate-related disasters increase by up to 250%. In the Mekong region during 1998-2017, Thailand was worst hit, suffering losses estimated at $52.4 billion.

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