The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange and Dioxin (VAVA) on May 16 received nearly 12 billion VND (571,400 USD) from donors to help construct a centre for the social protection of the victims.

Of the sum, the Thanh Cong Environmental Hygiene Cooperative donated 8.36 billion VND (398,000 USD) along with 500 square metres of land for the building of the centre.

The remainder came from the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group.

VAVA Chairman Nguyen Van Rinh thanked the two enterprises and expressed his hope for more support from organisations, businesses and philanthropists in the care for the victims.

The Vietnam Centre for Social Protection of AO/Dioxin Victims will be built in Thach That district, Hanoi, at an approximate cost of 151 billion VND (7.2 million USD). It will specialise in detoxifying and rehabilitating the target group.

From 1961 to 1971, the US Army sprayed more than 18.2 million gallons of Agent Orange onto more than 10 percent of the land in southern Vietnam.

It is estimated that more than 4.8 million Vietnamese suffer from the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases due to its effects.-VNA