Localities nationwide support dioxin victims hinh anh 1AO victims in Vietnam - Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Localities across the country have organised many activities to assist Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims.

On the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the AO/dioxin disaster in Vietnam (August 10, 1961-2016), the Association of AO Victims of Quang Tri province visited and presented over 1,000 gifts to local dioxin victims.

Three houses worth 140 million VND (6,279 USD) in total were also built and handed over to families of the victims, who had previously been living in dilapidated houses.

The central province is now home to 15,480 AO victims. Established in 1996, the local association has to date mobilised nearly 14 billion VND (627,900 USD), from which it presented 31,000 gifts, 150 wheelchairs and bicycles and 46 houses to the victims and their families.

Meanwhile, 66 gifts worth 400,000 VND each were granted to AO victims in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang, which is home to around 8,500 dioxin-exposed people.

During 2006-2016, the locality’s Association of AO/Dioxin Victims built and repaired 92 houses, presented 193 wheelchairs to dioxin victims and granted 300 scholarships to their children. It also held free health check-ups and treatment for over 22,000 local people.

In the northern province of Nam Dinh, over the past 10 years, the Association of AO/Dioxin Victims has built and repaired 192 houses for victims living in extremely difficult circumstances, and provided production loans for 1,137 households.

Free medical check-ups and treatment and medicine have reached nearly 5,000 local dioxin victims, while scholarships have been granted to 417 children of the victims.

Similar activities have also been organised in the Mekong Delta provinces of Vinh Long and An Giang to ease the pain of dioxin victims.

Between 1961 and 1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides, 44 million litres of which were AO, containing nearly 370 kilograms of dioxin, over southern Vietnam, according to the Vietnam Association of AO Victims (VAVA).

As a result, around 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical, about 3 million of them are AO victims. While tens of thousands of people have died, millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the chemical’s effects.-VNA