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Taking care of AO/dioxin victims’ lives

Update: 10-08-2022 | 11:07:54

Although the war was far behind, toxic chemicals used by the US military during the war in Vietnam have left heavy consequences for the environment and people. With its functions and tasks, provincial Association for Victims of Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin (VAVA) and localities organized many meaningful programs and activities, contributing to sharing, taking care of the lives of the local AO/dioxin victims over the past time.

Always taking care of AO/dioxin victims

Truong Binh Long, Chairman of provincial VAVA shared that the country has been peaceful and unified for nearly half a century, but the consequences of the war still exist heavily. Particularly, the chemical war waged by the US in Vietnam is the longest, largest and most catastrophic war in human history. The chemical war has caused a terrible disaster to the environment and health of people in Vietnam.

Provincial VAVA gives gifts for AO/dixoxin victims on the occasion of the Vietnam Day for AO/Dioxin Victims this year

As a locality located in the battlefields of the Southeastern region, Binh Duong had over a quarter of the natural land sprayed with toxic chemicals by the US in 1961-1971, with two thirds of the area being sprayed with toxic chemicals from 5-10 times. In the province, there are more than 5,000 people exposed to AO/dioxin, and over 1,000 AO/dioxin victims. Responding to the movement "Action for AO victims in Vietnam", over the past 10 years, provincial VAVA focused and made efforts for development. Up to now, the whole province has established 6 branches of the VAVA in 9 districts, towns and cities.  Two localities, Tan Uyen town and Bau Bang district, have made the necessary preliminary preparations to establish their branches of the association in the near future. In a bid to carry out their responsibilities, provincial VAVA and its branches have improved their quality as advisors to help the Party committees and authorities take care of and connect donors with AO/dioxin victims and their families in the province.

Under the guidance of the Vietnam VAVA, provincial VAVA also cooperated with the Youth Union, relevant departments and agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to organize many activities to fight for justice, mobilize resources to take care of victims. Up to now, it has become a movement of humanitarian and charitable activities, attracting many people and organizations to take care of and help AO/dioxin victims' families, contributing to well realizing the local social welfare policies.

From the beginning of the third term (2018-2023) until now, provincial VAVA has taken care of and helped victims with over VND8 billion, built and repaired 14 houses, and brought 81 victims to medical facilities for treatment with more than VND1.35 billion. In addition, the association has also maintained monthly allowances for the families of AO/dioxin victims with extremely difficult circumstances plus many other social welfare programs. Particularly, the association donated 5 cows, 10 wheelchairs to AO/dioxin victims, encouraging them to overcome their illness. More than 90% of AO/dioxin victims ‘families have so far had good living standards. There are no hungry households and the number of poor families is also decreasing year by year.

Soothing AO pain

Taking care and supporting AO/dioxin victims is the responsibility of the entire community and society. Over the past years, social welfare policies, including activities taking care of AO/dioxin victims, have always been concerned by Party committees and local authorities in the province. Activities accompanying with AO/dioxin victims in the province have also received the attention and support of many donors, businesses and individuals.

Do Thi Phuong, one of AO/dioxin victims in Thu Dau Mot city’s Hiep Thanh ward shared that over the past time, provincial VAVA organized many effective activities and programs, contributing to taking care of the lives of AO/dioxin victims ‘families. On this occasion, she also received a gift from provincial VAVA. Prior to that, she was also taken to the Center for the Protection of AO/Dioxin Victims for medical treatment. After 23 days of experiencing at the center, she and other members got healthier.

According to Mr. Long, overcoming the consequences of the AO disaster is the conscience and responsibility of the whole political system, community and society. In order to soothe the pain of Agent Orange, along with the efforts by provincial VAVA, he suggested that the VAVA  branches of districts, towns and cities need to have specific and practical plans to implement provincial People's Committee’s Plan No.997/KH UBND dated March 8, 2022 on overcoming the consequences of dioxin after the war in the period of 2021-2030 and other related programs by programs and plans close to the goal of "Innovation towards grassroots, victims" in order to help AO/dioxin victims rise in life, so that all AO’dioxin victims’ families must have living standards that are  equal to or higher than the average living standards in society.

Mr. Long also asked for the local Party committees, authorities, departments and organizations, donors and businesses to further accompany, actively support the association and AO/dioxin victims, thereby joining hands in soothing the pain of Agent Orange in the coming time. “Along with the care of the Party and State, there is a great need for support from kind hearts to contribute to easing the pain of Agent Orange, creating conditions for victims to strive to overcome their illness”, shared he.

On the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the Agent Orange disaster day in Vietnam (August 10, 1961 - August 10, 2022) and the Day for AO/dioxin victims (August 10), all AO/dioxin victims in the province have got care and given gifts. Accordingly, from the support of non-governmental organizations, the Fund for the Poor of the province and localities, provincial VAVA and its branches have donated more than VND 380 million in cash and gifts worth VND 134 million to the local AO/dioxin victims.

Reported by Hong Thuan-Translated by Kim Tin

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