Vietnamese AO victims (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin (VAVA) mobilised nearly 306 billion VND (13.5 million USD) to support AO victims in 2017, heard a conference in Hanoi on December 19.

With that money, the association built and upgraded 718 houses, presented 920 wheelchairs, granted 1,900 scholarships and generated jobs for more than 180 people.

The association also visited and presented gifts to AO victims on the occasion of the War Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27), Day for AO Victims (August 10) and Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Besides, the association raised its voice in the struggle to gain justice for AO victims.

In 2018, the association will continue its care for AO victims and studied the third generation of AO victims to propose adding them into the list of social beneficiaries, while continuing to demand justice for the victims.

By renewing methods to mobilise donations, the association is expected to have more than 10 chapters that collect at least 10 billion VND (440,000 USD) in the year.

Also on November 19, the Office of the national steering committee for overcoming consequences of chemicals used by the US during war in Vietnam (called the Office of National Steering Committee 33) held a meeting to review its operation in 2017 and set forth tasks for the next year.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan said the Prime Minister has decided to establish the national steering committee for overcoming consequences of post-war bombs, mines and chemicals in Vietnam.

Therefore, the Office of National Steering Committee 33 will be moved to the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA).

Nhan said the office will advise the ministry on assessing the environment before and after the settlement of consequences caused by dioxin.

VEA Deputy Director General Nguyen The Dong said in 2017, the Office stepped up activities to deal with consequences of chemicals  at “hot spots” such as Da Nang and Bien Hoa airports, promoted international cooperation, especially with the US, and identified areas at risks of being exposed to dioxin to serve the building of policies towards AO victims. -VNA