Senior Lieutenant Nguyễn Chí Vịnh (R), deputy minister of the National Defence, and KOICA Vietnam Country director Chang Jae-yun (L), signed a MoU yesterday for a project to clear unexploded ordnances (UXO) from the war in Việt Nam’s central provinces.— Photo qdnd.vn
HÀ NỘI — The Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) and the Ministry of National Defence signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday for a project to clear unexploded ordnances (UXO) from the war in Việt Nam’s central provinces.
Senior Lieutenant Nguyễn Chí Vịnh, deputy minister of the National Defence, and KOICA Vietnam Country director Chang Jae-yun, signed the document.
Under the project, Viet Nam will get an aid package worth about US$20 million would to help clear UXO left on 8,000 hectares in central Bình Định and Quảng Bình provinces.
The project will also improve the management capacity of UXO clearance, enhance the techniques of surveys in contaminated areas, support UXO victims and enhance the dissemination of information on bomb and mine accident prevention in the two provinces.
The project will be implemented over five years (2016-20).
The Ministry of National Defence has assigned Vietnam National Mine Action Centre to implement the project. A project co-ordination committee and a project management board will be set up to provide regular consultation during the implementation.
Previously, in 2014 and 2015, two delegations from KOICA worked with Vietnamese agencies to discuss UXO-related issues in the central provinces.
Deputy Minister of National Defence Nguyễn Chí Vịnh said the project reflected the willingness to cooperate in solving humanitarian problems between the two countries.
The two sides co-operated closely to speed up the surveys of areas contaminated by post-war bombs and mines and build a project on UXO clearance in the two central provinces, he said. However, there were a lot of things to do before the project could be put into operation.
Lee Hyuk, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, said that Vietnamese agencies provided favourable conditions for the organisation’s surveys and working visits, making the UXO issue a priority.
A preliminary survey in 2014 showed that nearly 6.1 million hectares of land across Việt Nam were contaminated with UXOs, accounting for 18 per cent of the country’s land area. The central region is the most contaminated.
UXOs claimed 42,135 lives and injured 62,163 others from 1975 to 2000. The State has spent tens of millions of dollars every year on UXO disposal, providing vocational training and resettling UXO victims. — VNS