Vietnam works to address wartime bombs’ consequences hinh anh 1Post-war unexploded ordnances were discovered in the central province of Quang Tri. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – It is estimated it will take 100 years and 10 billion USD to clear post-war mines remaining in Vietnam, stated the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs at a press conference in Hanoi on March 31.

Between 1945 and 1975, more than 15 million tonnes of bombs and mines, four times the amount used in World War II, were dumped on Vietnam. As a result, about 800,000 tonnes of unexploded ordnances (UXOs) are scattered across 20.12 percent of land nationwide, mainly in the central region. More than 100,000 people have become victims of UXOs, most of them are breadwinners and in their working ages.

Released at the press conference was information on related work to address the impact of UXOs in response to the UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action (April 4).

Activities carried out by the ministry include building a legal framework for assisting UXOs victims as part of the support policy targeting the disabled, and helping the victims integrate into society.

According to To Duc, Deputy Director of the ministry’s Department of Social Protection, a medical unit specialising in care and rehabilitation for UXOs victims has been piloted since 2011, and now is available in ten communes, producing good outcomes.

The Vietnamese government approved a 2010-2025 national programme on tackling post-war bombs, mines and unexploded ordnances on April 21, 2010, known as Programme 504. Its goal is to use national and international resources to minimise the effects of UXOs on social-economic development, defence and security, while ensuring safety for people and helping victims reintegrate into society.

The State Steering Committee for the national action programme on settling post-war bomb and landmine impacts has appealed to international and non-governmental organisations for help, in an attempt to shorten the time it will take to clear the country of mines.-VNA