The Vietnam Red Cross (VRC) has targeted raising 98 billion VND for 70,000 Agent Orange/dioxin victims during this year’s action month, which will run from August 10 to September 10.

Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on August 3, VRC Vice President and General Secretary Doan Van Thai said that the association has sent letters to 600 enterprises, banks, hotels, universities and colleges nationwide, calling for their support for AO victims.

The VRC also plans to pay visits and present gifts worth nearly 200 million VND in total to AO victims in 13 provinces and cities, he added.

During last year’s action month, the association raised over 20 billion VND for the victims.

Besides its yearly action month, the Fund for AO Victims of Vietnam under the VRC Central Committee has organised many other activities in support of their cause.

Over the past 10 years, the fund has mobilised nearly 421 billion VND for some 1 million victims through providing regular aid, free medical check-ups, surgery, physical therapy, and wheelchairs as well as scholarships, jobs, business capital, housing and safe water.

The “Tet for poor people and AO victims” movement has raised 703 billion VND for 5.6 million poor households and AO victims since it was launched in 1999.

After four years of implementing a project to support AO victims in five Central Highlands provinces and southern Tay Ninh province, VRC chapters have provided physical therapy, surgery and wheelchairs for 3,500 victims and over 1,500 others have been given production capital.

In addition to humanitarian activities, the VRC has also strengthened promotional campaigns to help people in and outside the country understand more about the affects of Agent Orange on humans and the environment. It has coordinated with the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange /dioxin (VAVA) to map out policies for AO victims to be submitted to the Government.

According to the VAVA, around 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to the deadly toxic chemical and more than 3 million of them are suffering health problems related to the exposure./.