Vietnam, US discuss ways to support Agent Orange victims

Monday, 2019-08-19 15:20:24
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Cooperation mechanisms for the project to support people with disabilities in seven localities suffering from Agent Orange were discussed at the seminar. (Photo: NDO/Thien Vuong)
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NDO – Experts and concerned authorities gathered at a seminar, held in the southern province of Dong Nai on August 19, to discuss specific plans for implementing a project supporting Vietnamese people with disabilities in seven localities suffering from Agent Orange (AO) in the past war.

The event was held by the Standing Committee Office of the National Steering Committee on the Settlement of Post-War Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Office 701), in coordination with United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Dr. Nhan Thanh Cong, the head of Office 701, said that the project development aims to realise the Memorandum of Understanding signed between both sides in April 2019. Accordingly, the USAID pledged to provide US$50 million for Vietnam to improve the capacity in implementing activities related to healthcare, medical treatment, rehabilitation, improving quality of life and ensuring social integration for people with disabilities caused by AO in the seven provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, Thua Thien - Hue and Quang Tri.

Dr. Cong affirmed that Vietnam has a large number of people with disabilities, at nearly eight million. In particular, in the seven provinces mentioned above, which suffered the most from AO in the past war, there are more than 163,000 people with severe disabilities. The majority of them are war victims and face difficulties in accessing livelihoods and jobs.

Christopher Abrams, the director at the USAID's Environment and Social Development Office in Vietnam, said that the US has cooperated with relevant Vietnamese agencies in carrying out multiple projects to overcome the war consequences and support AO victims. The project to support people with disabilities in these seven provinces is a continuation of the success of cooperation projects between the two countries, he stated.

With extensive experience in implementing projects on health care, medical support, and livelihoods for people with disabilities, USAID also affirmed its support to Vietnam in all aspects for the project’s success.

At the seminar, delegates outlined objectives, activities, and cooperation mechanisms for the project.