A series of practical activities have been held in many cities and provinces to mark 50 years of the use of Agent Orange/dioxin in Vietnam and the Day for AO victims.

In the capital city of Hanoi , the municipal Association of AO Victims (HAAV) on June 28 held a ceremony to sum up the city’s campaign for AO victims in the 2004-2011 period.

The HAAV operations have covered 22 out of 29 districts, 180 communes and wards, and 315 villages and residential quarters with more than 13,000 official members and over 100 honorary members.

Over the past seven years, the association has mobilised over 12 billion VND in cash and in kind for AO victims.

On the occasion, the HAAV praised nearly 20 organisations and members for their great contributions to AO victims and people infected with the toxic chemical for their outstanding performances in life.

Hanoi is home to 35,000 AO victims, of whom only 16,000 have received the State’s support policies.

On the same day, the Children Sponsoring Fund of Quang Ninh province held a ceremony to receive 710 million VND from donors and present the money to children with special difficulties, including AO victims.

The Central Highlands province of Gia Lai has actively implemented many activities in support for AO victims.

The provincial People’s Committee has decided to provide land and more than 1.3 billion VND for building a day care and rehabilitation centre for the victims. The work is expected to be put into operation in the third quarter of this year.

The southernmost province of Ca Mau has called upon all strata of people, domestic and foreign organisations and individuals to provide continued support for AO victims in the locality as well as back the struggle for justice of Vietnamese AO victims.

After five years of operations, the Ca Mau provincial Association of AO Victims has carried out a number of practical programmes for dioxin victims.

At present, more than 13,000 AO victims in the province need sympathy and help from the community.

According to the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange /dioxin (VAVA), in the 1961-1971 period, US troops sprayed 80 million litres of chemical defoliants containing nearly 400kg of dioxin.

As many as 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to dioxin, of whom 3 million suffer from health problems due to the exposure.

The association has mobilised almost 200 billion VND for AO victims over the past six years.

The national humanitarian portal 1400 received 351,238 SMS in support for the “Joining hands in easing AO pains” programme between February 22 and June 19, raising over 6.3 billion VND./.