Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) aims to raise 1 trillion VND (43 million USD) in funds to support AO victims over the next five years.

The target was set during the association’s fourth national congress in Hanoi on December 4-5 with the participation of 350 delegates from the 63 localities nationwide.

The fund will be used to construct 1,000 houses for victims; grant 3,000 scholarships; and assist 1,000 households with capital for production. The association hopes to give wheelchairs to 80 percent of needy AO victims and New Year gifts to all poor victims.

Over the 2018-2023 tenure, the association aims to receive an additional 50,000 members.

Addressing the event, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man lauded the achievements that the association has made so far, with its prestige and position rising in society.

Members of the association, mostly the elderly, have worked hard to overcome difficulties to support AO victims, he said.

In the tenure, the association should focus on implementing Directive No.43 of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat on the national action programme aiming to overcome the consequences of toxic chemicals used by the US during the war in Vietnam, while strengthening communications on the dioxin disaster in the country, he said.

Man also called on the State and the whole community to join hands in easing the pain caused by the disaster.

A report delivered at the congress shows that during the 2013-2018 tenure, the association expanded its coverage to all the 63 localities, 610 districts, and 6,551 communes and wards, with 393,000 members.

It raised over 1.13 trillion VND (48.59 million USD) for AO victims, 1.6 times higher than that in the previous tenure and equivalent to 58.86 percent of the total amount raised in 15 years.

Meanwhile, struggles for justice launched by the association gave the domestic and international communities a better understanding of the consequences of dioxin and led to the US’ initial moves towards accepting their responsibilities in the field.

At the congress, the delegates elected a 97-member Central Committee of the VAVA, headed by Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh. Former Vice State President Nguyen Thi Binh continued to be the Honorary President of the association.–VNA