General Vo Nguyen Giap is among 99 individuals and units who will be honoured during a live televised programme on January 24 for their outstanding contributions to Agent Orange/dioxin victims in Vietnam .

The event, co-organised by the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin (VAVA) and several other agencies and organisations, aims to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the catastrophe of AO defoliants sprayed by the US troops on Vietnam .

VAVA President Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Rinh said at a press briefing that General Giap witnessed and thoroughly understood the chemical war in the country and he was one of the first people to back the establishment of VAVA to care for AO/dioxin victims.

General Giap had also spent significant time writing letters to international friends, calling for support for the victims, Rinh added.

Besides the world-famous general, a foreigner, 32 international organisations and 37 local people and 29 organisations will be glorified at the programme.

In 2010, VAVA raised a total of 52 billion VND from individuals and organisations both in and outside the country and spent over 36.5 billion VND on building houses and care centres for AO victims, as well as providing scholarships and helping victims find jobs.

According to 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 ./.