The US State Department has pledged 10 million USD in aid for the central province of Quang Tri to disarm unexploded ordnances (UXOs) left over from the war in Vietnam.

A memorandum of understanding was signed on May 18 between the provincial People’s Committee and the Mine Advisory Group (MAG) to carry out the UXO clearance project in the province between 2015 and 2017.

The project aims to reduce the risks of injuries caused by UXOs while clearing contaminated areas and improving local livelihoods.

The provincial People’s Committee and the MAG will decide on the operational scale of UXOs disarming teams and will adjust as necessary through each period of the project.

The two sides are expected to further their cooperation to ensure safe cultivative land for farmers and contribute to local socio-economic development, said Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Thuc.

Local authorities pledged to facilitate the implementation of the project, he added.

Statistically, some 391,500 hectares of land in Quang Tri are contaminated due to UXOs, making up more than 83 percent of the provincial area.

In 1996, Quang Tri was the first locality in Vietnam to receive global support in defusing bombs and mines.

One of the first international organisations assisting the province was the MAG, who has coordinated closely with local authorities to clear over 6.1 million square metres of land for cultivating since 1999.

The group has also detected and treated more than 133,000 pieces of explosive materials and 2,500 bombs and mines left from war, benefiting over 1.5 million local residents.-VNA