AO/dioxin victims and their families in Tien Giang granted with gifts (Source: thtg.vn)

Can Tho (VNA) – The Association of Agent Orange/dioxin Victims in Can Tho city on August 7 presented gifts to dioxin victims and their families on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the Day for AO/dioxin Victims (August 10).

Specifically, the association granted 200 gifts to dioxin victims, 125 scholarships worth 500,000 VND (21.5 USD) each to students who are children or grandchildren of AO victims, and handed over 10 houses to families with members affected by AO/dioxin.

The association also granted certificates of merit and insignias to 50 outstanding dioxin victims who have made great contributions to the community.

At the granting ceremony, organisations, businesses and individuals donated a total of nearly 750 million VND (32,200 USD) to the Mekong Delta city’s fund for AO victims in 2018.

The association’s President Tran Lien Kieu said that to help ease the pain of dioxin victims and their families, the association will continue making proposals to municipal authorities to promptly give assistance to revolution contributors and dioxin victims, and canvass support from donors for the disadvantaged.

The association will work to increase monthly allowances and better social protection policies for them, she added.

Can Tho city is now home to around 4,500 AO/dioxin victims, including 1,200 victims who cannot take care of themselves, and over 600 children aged under 16.

In the first half of 2018, the association mobilised more than 4 billion VND (172,000 USD) in support for dioxin victims.

On this occasion, the Association of AO/dioxin Victims of southern Tien Giang province also presented 300 gifts worth 400,000 VND (17.2 USD) each to dioxin victims.

According to the association, there are 10,736 people affected by AO/dioxin in Tien Giang. The provincial association set a target of collecting 35 billion VND (1.5 million USD) during 2018-2023 to assist the victims.

The US army sprayed some 80 million litres of toxic chemicals, 61 percent of which was Agent Orange containing 366 kilograms of dioxin, over nearly one quarter of the total area of South Vietnam from 1961 to 1971.

Preliminary statistics showed that 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin, and about 3 million people became victims. Tens of thousands of people have died while millions of others have suffered from cancer and other incurable diseases as consequences of  exposure. Many of their offspring have also suffered from birth deformities.-VNA