Better policy needed to support dioxin victims

Vietnam has adopted a number of policies for Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin victims, supporting them with vocational training and medical treatment.

Deputy Chairman and Secretary-General of the Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) Nguyen The Luc made the remarks in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the Agent Orange catastrophe in Vietnam.

He said, however, support policies for the victims should be updated and improved regularly as only 300,000 out of the three million sufferers benefit from the incentives.

HCM City poeple walked on August 9 to raise funds for the needy in society, including dioxin victims

Established in January 2014, VAVA now groups chapters in 59 cities and provinces with over 315,000 members. It has raised more than VND800 billion (US$37.8 million) in and outside of the country to repair and build houses, grant scholarships, and offer storm relief for dioxin victims and their families.

From 1961-1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides - 44 million litres of which were AO that contained nearly 370kg of dioxin - over southern Vietnam.

As a result, around 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases due to the chemical’s effects.

On the occasion of the Day for AO/Dioxin Victims (August 10), a wide range of activities have been held nationwide to assist the unfortunate.

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