HA NOI (VNS)— Removing the unexploded ordnances (UXOs) that remain from wars fought in previous decades should be a national priority, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a meeting in Ha Noi yesterday.
More than 1,000 people fall victim to UXOs every year. Around 800,000 tonnes of unexploded bombs and mines are estimated to remain in the country.
During the meeting, Dung suggested the State Steering Committee of the National Action Programme on Settling Consequences of Unexploded Ordnances (known as Steering Committee 504) negotiate with donors who could sponsor the programme, which would help people avoid encountering UXOs and assist UXO victims.
The PM said the Government has already drawn up many policies and spent billions of dong to confront the issue. Thanks to the public's help and the support of the international community, Viet Nam had made great strides in clearing bombs and mines left over from the war, he added.
Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, head of the committee, said the committee planned to submit a plan for the 2013-2015 period to the Government for approval, issue a decree on plans to remove UXOs and coordinate funding mechanisms.
It will also map UXOs in the remaining 14 provinces, fund research on clearing the devices and organise an exchange programme to jointly overcome the consequences of UXOs on April 4 in addition to an international donor conference at the end of the year. — VNS
Germany to support mine-clearing process
HCM City — Germany will continue supporting Viet Nam this year through its long-running mine and explosive clearance and resettlement project in the central provinces of Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Binh.
This year, Germany will provide around US$1.3 million for the work, which has been undertaken by German non-government organisation Solidarity Service International (SODI) in co-operation with local authorities and the Viet Nam People's Army.
In 2012, SODI found 19,275 explosives in Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue. Around 275 hectares of land were cleared for resettlement, agricultural production and infrastructure development.
Since 1998, the German Foreign Affairs Ministry has provided around $13.7 million for bomb and mine clearance in Viet Nam. — VNS