The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) will launch a campaign to raise 60 billion VND for Vietnamese Agent Orange /dioxin victims on August 10.

At a press briefing on the event in Hanoi on July 13, VAVA Vice President and General Secretary Tran Xuan Thu said the campaign will last through 2013, aiming to use the funds raised for building 500 ‘compassionate houses’ and 55 care centres for AO victims.

In addition, the campaign also targets granting 1,100 scholarships and generating 1,100 jobs for children of AO victims, said Mr. Thu.

The campaign will open with an “Orange Day”, jointly held by the VAVA, the Vietnam Television, and the Thang Long Investment Group.

Accordingly, on Orange Day, which will take place on August 10, VTV4 of Vietnam Television, together with 65 local television stations and 15 international TV channels will broadcast documentaries, movies, interviews, artistic performances and other programmes featuring AO victims, their pains and efforts to overcome the consequences of the toxic chemical.

Such broadcasts aim to send out a call for more support from all over the world for the judgment issued by the International People’s Tribunal of Conscience in France on May 18, and demand the US take responsibility in addressing the grave and prolonged consequences its chemical warfare left in Vietnam.

According to Thu, VAVA will send a delegation of three AO victims to the US where they will get involved in activities for about one month to help Americans gain a better understanding of AO effects and mobilise support for their struggle for justice.

To this end, VAVA plans to organise an international symposium on AO in Vietnam and another in Latin America next year, he said.

In regard to the establishment of a committee for AO issues as recommended by the International People’s Tribunal of Conscience, Thu said VAVA has received the Government’s agreement in principle and is working with relevant agencies to author a plan for the Government for consideration.

Statistics released by the VAVA show that around 4.8 million Vietnamese people have been exposed to AO/dioxin, of whom 3 million have been confirmed as being directly affected by the toxic chemical.

During the 1961-1971 period, the US troops sprayed 80 million litres of defoliant which contained nearly 400 kg of dioxin on Vietnam ’s southern battlefields./.