More support for Agent Orange victims
Campaigns to support victims of Agent Orange (AO) and other dioxins have been organised for the official Agent Orange Day on Monday.
Philanthropists nation-wide will donate 21 houses worth VND450 million, cash and other gifts, including wheelchairs and computers, to people with problems attributed to AO/dioxin.
The UK-Viet Nam Friendship Association and the American Veterans for Peace Association have outlined support for the day.
"You are not alone, we are with you and will be with you until justice is won and beyond," Secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society Len Aldis wrote in the letter sent to the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent range/Dioxin (VAVA).
National President of Veterans For Peace Mike Ferner spoke highly of VAVA’s extraordinary work and pledged in his message to VAVA to continue working with the association for justice for all AO victims.
Meanwhile, the US-based Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign (VAORRA) reaffirmed its partnership with VAVA in achieving justice and compensation for AO victims.
According to VAORRA Co-coordinator Merle Ratner, VAORRA will commemorate Orange Day 2009 in the US by conducting educational activities aimed at raising the awareness of the American people of the urgent needs of ietnamese AO victims and the responsibility of the US government and chemical companies.
On the occasion, VAVA is working with Vietnam Television to mark the event through a live broadcast on over 60 local television stations nationwide and on 15 international television channels.
More home support
In Thanh Hoa, Lam Dong and Vinh Long provinces, numerous discussions will encourage people disabled by Agent Orange and dioxin to live independently and contribute to national development.
The Vietnam News Agency has sent aid worth VND20.5 million to 25 Agent Orange/dioxin victims nationwide and built a house worth VND15 million for a victim’s family in the southern Tien Giang Province.
In the northern province of Hoa Binh, VND346 million ($19,000) has been raised during the last three years to help 1,300 victims with their investments, medical treatment and house repairs.
The province is also building four charity houses for local victims. In Hoa Binh, almost 4,700 people are believed to have been exposed to the toxic chemical but only 1,781 receive State allowances.
Phu Tho Province has provided loans of more than VND200 million ($11,000) to almost 90 families under a project established in 2003 to help boost household incomes.
In Da Nang City, the Transport Project Construction Corporation No. 5 and police presented VND300,000 ($16) gifts to more than 100 victims in Hoa Vang district.
The corporation also offered to provide monthly allowances for 30 victims in Hoa Vang district. Commitments to regular allowances and saving accounts for 22 other victims in the district were made by other donors.
Hoa Vang’s more than 2,300 disabled include 957 with AO symptoms.
In the southern province of Tien Giang , the provincial Association for AO/dioxin victims presented gifts to 200 victims and 30 wheelchairs for the disabled while other sources donated VND73.5 million ($4,080).
Statistics released by VAVA show that around 4.8 million Vietnamese people have been exposed to AO/dioxin, of whom over 3 million have been confirmed as being affected by the toxic chemical.