Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc lauded bomb and mine consequence recovery efforts over the past years while chairing a meeting of the National Steering Committee on the Settlement of Post-War Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Steering Committee 701) in Hanoi on August 7.
It was the first meeting since the committee made debut in April 2018.
In his speech, the PM said ministries, agencies, localities and socio-political organisations have devised their own action plans to deal with bombs, mines and toxic chemicals, facilitated international cooperation, scientific research and technological development in the field, as well as provided support for victims.
Describing bomb and mine recovery as an urgent task, the leader said the committee needs to fix existing shortcomings to protect the environment and people’s health in service of socio-economic development, towards mitigating public exposure to dioxin.
According to him, a roadmap is needed to devise a map of dioxin, bomb and mine contaminated hotspots in Vietnam, adding that the committee should consider amending policies on State allowances for those who joined resistance wars and became exposed to dioxin and chemical toxics and their children, and offer better medical care to them.
Ministries, agencies and localities were urged to rally domestic and foreign resources in the effort. VNA
The PM said the implementation of a Vietnam – Hungary project on overcoming the aftermath of bombs and mines in Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Quang Nam and Quang Tri provinces, which uses State budget and Hungary’s official development assistance, is necessary.
He assigned the committee to collect feedback at the event to refine the report, especially those regarding social and health care issues for Agent Orange/dioxin victims, international and technical cooperation, environment and projects jointly conducted by ministries and agencies.
Last year, the standing board of the committee worked with ministries and agencies to build its operating regulation, offered advice to Party and State leaders about adding the settlement of post-war bombs and mines into joint statements with the US, Japan, Australia and Israel.
During the first stage of a project on outlining maps of areas contaminated with bombs, mines and explosives, up to 9,116 areas were found, accounting for 81.87 percent of the total. All communes and towns in 19 provinces were affected, including Hai Duong, Quang Binh and Quang Tri.
Over 6.1 million ha of land are contaminated with bombs and mines while about 30,000 – 50,000ha are subject to bomb and mine clearance.
The Defence Ministry also partnered with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to deal with dioxin at Da Nang international airport. The project has been basically completed with 160,000 sq.m of treated land meeting technical standards on environment.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs piloted a model to improve livelihoods of victims hurt by bombs and mines in several localities.