|Vice President Võ Thị Ánh Xuân on behalf of the Party and State presented the Labour Order to the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA). — VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Đức|
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) was honoured with the Labour Order, third class, at a ceremony in Hà Nội on Tuesday.
The year 2021 also marks 60 years since the US army first sprayed the lethal chemical in the country.
Vice President Võ Thị Ánh Xuân, First Vice President of the Central Council for Emulation and Commendation, on behalf of the Party and State presented the order to the VAVA.
Addressing the ceremony, Xuân underlined that the dioxin disaster the Vietnamese people had been suffering from for the past 60 years was a pain for not only Vietnamese people but all of mankind.
She called on international friends, organisations and communities to continue to accompany and support Việt Nam to ease the pain of victims and at any cost prevent chemical warfare anywhere on the globe ever again.
VAVA President Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Văn Rinh said that between 1961 and 1971, the US army sprayed about 80 million litres of toxic chemicals, 61 per cent of which were Agent Orange, containing 366 kg of dioxin, on to nearly a quarter of South Việt Nam, causing severe and long-term consequences to the environment, the ecosystem and people’s health.
As a result, around 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical, and more than 3 million became victims, he said.
As part of efforts to care for, support and gain justice for Agent Orange victims in Việt Nam, on January 10, 2004, the VAVA was founded, aiming to mobilise resources for the victims and find justice for them.
So far, the association has raised over VNĐ3.04 trillion (US$133.1 million) in cash and goods to build houses, provide scholarships and capital to support victims, as well as for detoxification, and rehabilitation centres for the victims and care for their families.
The VAVA leader expressed hope that the government, ministries, sectors and Vietnamese people in and outside the country as well as international friends would continue to join hands to ease pain for victims, while accompanying them on their journey for justice. — VNS