Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh (right) and Michael Greene, USAID’s Mission Director for Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh on July 18 called for more coordination from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in dealing with consequences of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin.

At a working session with Michael Greene, USAID’s Mission Director for Vietnam, Vinh suggested the agency partner with Vietnam’s Air Defence – Air Force Service - the investor of the project on dioxin contamination remediation at Bien Hoa Airport - to complete the dossier of the project and submit it to the ministry for approval.

Vinh, who is also Chief of the Standing Agency of the National Steering Committee on the Settlement of Post-war Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Office 701), suggested identifying technologies to treat dioxin-contaminated soil as well as solutions to ease dioxin’s effects on humans during the implementation of the project.

He asked USAID and the the Air Defence – Air Force Service to make studies and plans to ensure that dioxin does not spread outside the controlled area, thus preventing pollution and creating safe environment for people.

Regarding activities to support Vietnamese disabled people living in areas contaminated with dioxin, Vinh asked USAID and Office 701, and the National Action Centre for Toxic Chemicals and Environmental Treatment, to enhance coordination to negotiate and sign a non-refundable aid agreement, which will serve as a foundation for building documents of the project.

He hoped USAID would continue to cooperate with Vietnam in organising international workshops during the time Vietnam assumes the position as a non-permanent member at the UN Security Council.

Greene briefed the host on information related to the project in Bien Hoa.

He thanked the Vietnamese side for its support and direction for activities of the project, saying that the two sides should enhance collaboration to tackle post-war UXO and toxic chemicals consequences, and improve the quality of life of people living with disabilities, towards deepening the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership.-VNA