A workshop analysing difficulties in the implementation of the State’s support policies for Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims across the country was held in the southern province of Dong Nai on July 2.

According to Nguyen The Luc, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA), existing support policies focus on those who fought in the resistance wars and their children, while failing to cover affected civilians.

Many delegates also pointed to the fact that victims who joined the army after 1975 are also not covered by the policies.

Participants underlined the need to address these shortcomings in order to provide better support for AO victims in the coming time.

According to the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA), about 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical, with over 3 million of them dying or painfully struggling from its serious effects.

Dong Nai is one of the hardest affected localities, with 56 percent of its area contaminated by AO/dioxin. In particular, Dong Nai’s Bien Hoa airport is the country’s second “hot spot” of dioxin, as it was the place where the US military stored herbicides.

The VAVA chapter in Dong Nai reported that there are more than 13,000 AO victims in the province, 8,000 of them being civilians but only 1,400 of them are benefiting social welfare.

During the war in Vietnam, US forces sprayed 80 million litres of Agent Orange containing almost 400 kg of dioxin on Vietnam’s southern battlefields.

Not only Vietnamese but people from many other countries also became victims of this mass-killing chemical. The toxic chemical still has severe impacts on Vietnam’s filial generations today.-VNA