Update: 08:23 | 03/11/2019
Deputy Minister of Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh has asked for further coordination from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to effectively carry out projects on settlement of post-war consequences in Vietnam.
Hosting a reception for USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick in Hanoi on November 1, Vinh, who is also Head of the National Steering Committee on Settlement of Post-war Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Committee 701), thanked the US Government, people, Embassy in Vietnam and the USAID for their cooperation in activities to handle post-war consequences in Vietnam.
Deputy Minister of Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh (right) and USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick.
He asked the USAID to help in choosing technologies to treat dioxin-contaminated land at Bien Hoa airport, while taking safety measures to reduce dioxin’s impact on human during the implementation of the Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area Project.
Besides, Vinh expressed his hope that USAID will work to ensure sufficient official development assistance (ODA) capital to treat all dioxin-contaminated land in Bien Hoa airport.
Bonnie Glick, for her part, stressed that the joint efforts by Vietnam and the US in dioxin detoxification at Bien Hoa and Da Nang airports have helped deepen the comprehensive partnership between the two countries.
She affirmed that the two countries will continue cooperate to carry out the humanitarian missions, including accounting for missing servicemen during war time and overcoming war aftermath such as removing unexploded ordnances, supporting people with disabilities and treating dioxin contamination.
At the event, both sides also reviewed their joint work in the past time and discussed measures to boost cooperation in the time ahead.
It is noteworthy that the two sides have completed the project on dioxin detoxification at Da Nang airport, and handed over 32.4 ha of clean land to the central city serving its socio-economic development.
Following the reception, Vinh and his US guest attended the ceremony to hand over the site for the Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area Project.
The Bien Hoa airport is one of the areas with heaviest dioxin contamination with over 500,000 cubic metres of soil in 52 ha of land need to be cleansed, four times higher than the amount treated at Da Nang airport.
Dioxin, a highly toxic chemical contained in the defoliant, stays in the soil and at the bottom of lakes and rivers for generations.
It can enter the food chain through meat, fish and other animals, and has been found at alarmingly high levels in human breast milk.
The chemicals have been linked to cancer, birth defects and other chronic diseases, according to the Vietnam Red Cross.
Last year, the USAID committed a funding of 183 million USD for the initial phase of the dioxin detoxification project at Bien Hoa airport. The project was approved by the Vietnamese Prime Minister and officially kicked start in April 2019.
Lasting 10 years and cost more than 390 million USD, it is seen as one of the world’s largest projects in the field.