Detecting bombs and mines for clearance in central Quảng Bình Province. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — To speed up the settlement of bomb and mine clearance work, Việt Nam needs stronger cooperation and support from international partners to ensure that no more people are killed or injured due to bombs, mines and unexploded ordnances (UXO), according to the Việt Nam Mine Action Centre (VNMAC).
Decades since the end of the war, Việt Nam still suffers from the deadly threat of millions of tonnes of bombs, mines and UXO left by war, which have killed more than 40,000 and caused disabilities to over 60,000.
Over 17 per cent of the country's total natural land area is still polluted with bombs, mines and UXO.
From 2010 to 2020, nearly 500,000 hectares of areas were cleared from bombs and mines under the National Mine Action Programme (Programme 504).
More than 5,000 victims of bombs and mines have received support in various forms worth over VNĐ50 billion (US$2.18 million). Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people in bomb and mine polluted areas have been educated on measures to prevent accidents related to bombs and mines.
Despite difficulties, the Party and State have allocated great resources to the settlement of problems related to bombs and mines while calling for support from society and international donors.
Many projects in the field have been implemented with assistance from the governments of the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the UK, Norway, Germany, Australia and Russia, as well as international organisations such as UNDP, UNICEF and many other international donors.
From 2010 to 2020, the total cost for activities under the national programme reached over VNĐ12 trillion ($525.27 million), of which more than VNĐ10 trillion came from the domestic budget and more than VNĐ2 trillion from foreign non-refundable sources.
Despite the efforts, Việt Nam has only completed nearly 70 per cent of its target in bomb and mine clearance, while the ratio of polluted land area in central and Central Highlands localities such as Quảng Trị, Quảng Bình, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Nam, Kon Tum and Gia Lai remains high.
To speed up progress, the VNMAC has recommended measures to the Steering Committee for Programme 504, including increasing the role of organisations and individuals and promoting international cooperation and the attraction of ODA in work.
The centre underlined that the Mine Action Partnership Group in Việt Nam should intensify its operation and expand the country’s partnership with potential partners while fostering ties with traditional ones to broaden activities in bomb and mine clearance.
It is also important to make full use of international support in researching and developing new technologies in bomb and mine clearance.
Việt Nam aims to eliminate accidents caused by post-war bombs, mines and UXO in all corners of the country by 2025. — VNS