The Vietnam - US Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin is scheduled to meet in HCM City next Friday to discuss future activities.

The workshop is part of the group's action plan on AO/dioxin during the 2010-19 period, Ngo Quang Xuan, vice chairman of the National Assembly's Committee for External Affairs and co-head of the group, said at a press briefing on March 31.

The 300 million USD action plan set out by the group last June focuses on human health and the environment.

"Participants at the workshop are scheduled to visit Bien Hoa Airport in southern Dong Nai province, one of the hot spots of AO/Dioxin contamination, and a care centre for AO/Dioxin child victims, as well as some victims' families," he said.

"Over the past years, the group, with assistance from the Government, the Vietnam Association for Victims of AO/dioxin and international agencies and organisations, has actively worked to raise awareness in the US of the harmful consequences of using the toxic chemical during the American War. The group has also striven to mobilise the US to contribute to making good the damage caused by AO to both the environment and people's health in Vietnam ."

Meanwhile, a music programme is scheduled for April 7 at HCM City-based Hoa Binh Theatre to raise funds for AO victims in Vietnam.

"The workshop and the fund-raising programme are aimed at raising public awareness about the issue, especially in the US, and to mobilise resources to address the harmful consequences of using AO. We also want to implement projects to clean up dioxin-contaminated areas, restore the environment and support people who have been exposed to the toxic chemical," Xuan said.

Between 1962 and 1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of AO/Dioxin on one-fourth of southern Vietnam's land area. At least 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to the toxic chemical.

Scientists have identified 28 hot spots of dioxin contamination in Vietnam, including Bien Hoa Airport in Dong Nai province, Phu Cat Airport in the central coastal province of Binh Dinh and Da Nang Airport./.