The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) has funded the construction of three charity houses for families of AO victims in the northern province of Nam Dinh.

The building of the houses, each worth 50 million VND (23,800 USD), forms part of activities to mark the 53rd anniversary of the Agent Orange/Dioxin catastrophe in Vietnam (August 10, 1961).

On the occasion, the VAVA branch in Nam Dinh province joined sponsors and charity funds presented hundreds of gifts to the local unfortunate.

Some 300 people affected by the toxic chemical in the locality were also provided with free health check-ups and medicine.

From 1961-1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides - 44 million litres of which were AO that contained nearly 370kg of dioxin - over southern Vietnam.

As a result, around 3.5–4 million Vietnamese people were exposed to AO/dioxin. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases due to the effects of the chemical.-VNA