The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha will hold a prayer for Agent Orange (AO) victims as part of an international conference scheduled to take place in Hanoi from August 8-9.

The prayer will be held at the Hanoi Buddhist Academy on July 21 in collaboration with the Vietnam Association for the Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA), which sponsors a number of activities such as the upcoming conference, in pursuit of justice for some 3 million Vietnamese with A/O deformities.

VAVA Vice President and Secretary General Tran Xuan Thu, said the conference was likely to draw some 150 participants, including 80 from overseas, representing victims, scientists, medical doctors and international organisations.

The event aimed to increase the world’s understanding of the A/O impact and strengthen international unity in the fight for justice.

Prior to the conference, there will be an awards ceremony to honour victims who are successful in life despite their disabilities, and recognise activists and donors both at home and abroad.

A meeting will be held on the Day for A/O Victims on Auguest 10.

VAVA announced 21 songs out of 172 entries, including those by foreign composers, which have won prizes in a contest for A/O victims.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast live on VTV on June 25.

Other events include artistic performances, a week of books on A/O victims, a charity walk and a campaign, “Orange Summer 2011” in support of victims.

VAVA reported that US pilots sprayed 80 million litres of herbicides, including almost 400 kg of dioxin, on battlefields in southern Vietnam in the 10 years up to 1971. An estimated 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical, and 3 million were victims with different disabilities./.