The National Mine Action Programme for 2010-2025 has helped survivors of war-time bombs and mines return to normal life and raised public awareness of bomb and mine risks, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong.
Phuong made the statement at the first meeting of the Mine Action Partnership Group (MAPG) in Hanoi on March 15
The National Mine Action Programme for 2010-2025 (also known as Programme 504) aims to minimize the economic and health impacts of bombs, mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Vietnam.
The programme has helped Vietnam improve its institutional capacity and human resources, develop advanced technology for demining activities and expand international cooperation in healing the aftermaths of post-war bombs and mines, the deputy minister noted.
Speaking on behalf of the MAPG, US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius said Vietnam has worked hard to clear contaminated areas and the US has been Vietnam’s partner in this effort since 1993.
The US is willing to share experience with Vietnam in this field, and ready to learn from Vietnam’s experience and share it to the world, he added.
Ambassador Stefano Toscano, Director of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) said the establishment of the MAPG marked a milestone in an effort by Vietnam to coordinate with international communities to cope with post-war bomb aftermaths.
The centre, which supports the Vietnamese Government and relevant agencies, hoped to continue receiving supports and donors from partners in the effort. According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, more than 800,000 tonnes of unexploded bombs and mines are buried across 21 percent of the country, mainly in the central provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Ngai.
Wartime bombs and mines have killed about 42,130 people and injured 62,160 others to date.