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VietNamNews

Support vital for victims of leftover bombs, mines

Update: December, 06/2014 - 10:31
Leftover bombs and mines have killed about 42,130 people and injured another 62,160, according to the Ministry of Labour-Invalids and Social Affairs. — Photo baodaidoanket

HA NOI (VNS) — Thousands of Vietnamese disabled by bombs and mines left from wartime are struggling to make ends meet, as the country lacks comprehensive measures to support them.

Leftover bombs and mines have killed about 42,130 people and injured another 62,160, according to the Ministry of Labour-Invalids and Social Affairs.

"Accidents happen when people come across unexploded explosives while working, or when scrap dealers try to detach the metal part from a bomb," Quang Tri Province Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Vice Director Hoang Van Phong told Nong thon Ngay nay (Countryside Today) newspaper. "Children also pick up and play with bombs and mines."

Post-wartime victims of bombs and mines are classified as disabled and receive monthly allowances of at least VND180,000 (US$8.60). Those with severe disabilities that have no family members left are cared for at social protection centres across the country.

Yet authorities acknowledge that the victims need a policy helping them to rehabilitate into society.

"We lack technical factors like psychotherapy and physiotherapy as well as community-based models to create stable jobs for the disabled," said Department of Social Protection director To Duc.

Viet Nam has not yet conducted a national survey to assess the death and injury toll of post-wartime bombs and mines, along with the needs of the victims.

"We cannot provide effective support to the disabled unless that information is fully collected," Duc said.

More than 800,000 tonnes of unexploded bombs and mines left from wartime are buried in 21 per cent of the country, focusing on the central provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Ngai. — VNS


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