The Vietnam-US Dialogue Group on Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin has urged the US to join hands with the Vietnamese people to solve aftermaths of the toxic chemicals in Vietnam .

The Group made the appeal at a workshop to review the group’s operations and discuss how to carrying on with its action plan on solving AO/dioxin aftermaths in Vietnam in 10 years (2010-2019), that was held in the southern province of Dong Nai on April 8.

Thirty-five years after the war ended, the two countries have obtained significant progress in building friendship, but the war aftermaths have still affected millions of American and Vietnamese people, the group said.

According to the group, its plan for next decade, which is estimated to cost 300 million USD, focuses on cleaning dioxin-contaminated land and restoring the devastated ecological system, and providing more services and support for those who were affected by dioxin and their families.

The group said it aims to raise awareness in society, especially among the US authorities and people, and mobilise all resources to address the dioxin problem in Vietnam .

The group suggested the US government should play the key role in meeting expenses for solving AO/dioxin aftermaths in Vietnam .

Dr Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, the group’s member, stressed the urgent need to provide care on both material and spiritual terms for AO/dioxin victims in Vietnam along with environmental disinfection in hot spots.

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

Established in 2007, the Vietnam-US Dialogue Group has worked to raise awareness among the US authorities and people, mobilise the US and international communities to make more contributions to solving AO/dioxin consequences for Vietnam ’s environment and human health.

Earlier on April 7 in Ho Chi Minh City , the “For a bright future” art programme was held to raise fund for Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims. State President Nguyen Minh Triet attended the event./.