Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s development partners gathered at a meeting in Hanoi on October 20 to discuss measures to address the consequences of bombs and mines left over from war in the country.

Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh said though war ended in Vietnam for many decades ago, the unexploded bombs, mines and explosives have killed over 50,000 people and injured more than 60,000 others.

Bombs and mines not only pose risks to local life but also hinder the country’s socio-economic development and cause environmental pollution, he said, noting that around 6.1 million hectares of land (equal to 18.82 percent of the country’s total area) are contaminated with unexploded ordnances.

Addressing the aftermath of bombs and mines is the major policy of the Party, State and Government, he said, adding that the country spends big annually on this activity as well as supports victims in integrating into the community.

Vietnam has also received active support and cooperation from the international community in the field, which has become an important content in the collaboration between Vietnam and foreign partners, he noted.

Participants suggested calling for funds from both domestic and international organisations and individuals to implement the national programme on settling post-war bomb and mine consequences (Programme 504) while completing an information management system and a database on bomb and mine victims nationwide.

The State Steering Committee for Programme 504 announced a map of areas suspected of bomb and mine contamination and launched a group of partners to address post-war bomb and mine consequences.-VNA