Representatives from UNDP and KOICA present the packages to a UXO survivor. —Photo courtesy of UNDP
QUẢNG BÌNH — More than 9,100 unexploded ordnance (UXO) survivors and their families in central Quảng Bình and south-central Bình Định provinces on Tuesday received packages of food, masks and hand sanitisers from international organisations.
The COVID-19 response packages were distributed by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
They were delivered to the UXO victims in a timely manner as food, masks and hand sanitisers are their top three needs during the pandemic response.
This was also the main result of a recent rapid assessment to help identify health and socio-economic challenges faced by people with disabilities and their families during COVID-19.
The assessment interviewed UXO survivors in Quảng Bình and Bình Định provinces to listen to their difficulties in accessing necessary medical care, supplies and basic items such as food and personal protective equipment.
It revealed that 66 per cent of UXO victims do not have enough money to purchase essentials while 59 per cent see their family income fall. About 35 per cent of them are facing temporary unemployment.
The assessment was conducted by UNDP with support of KOICA, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Embassy of Ireland in Việt Nam.
UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam Caitlin Wiesen said: “We wanted to react quickly to meet some of these urgent needs and today’s event is our immediate response to the survey results presented ten days ago.”
Assistance to UXO victims and their families is also an important component of the Korea-Việt Nam Mine Action Project, which was jointly launched in early 2018 by Việt Nam National Mine Action Centre (VNMAC), KOICA and UNDP to accelerate mine action for safety and sustainable development.
In collaboration with the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs, the project has developed an official database on 75,000 people with disabilities, 9,100 of them are UXO survivors.
The database includes need assessment of UXO survivors, thus enabling the project to provide them relevant and targeted support.
Addressing the hand-over ceremony on Tuesday, KOICA country director Han-Deog Cho said solidarity among nations is very important in fighting COVID-19. "The essentials which the Korea-Việt Nam Mine Action project presented to UXO survivors today reflect the friendship and solidarity of Korean people to Vietnamese people,” he said. — VNS