US, Japan to help Vietnam with bomb, mine clearance

TT – Wednesday, April 05, 2023, 17:36 GMT+7

US, Japan to help Vietnam with bomb, mine clearance
Colonel Nguyen Hanh Phuc, deputy general director of the Vietnam National Mine Action Center, speaks at a press briefing in Hanoi on April 4, 2023. Photo: Tong Giap / Tuoi Tre

The United States Department of Defense expressed its desire to send experts to Vietnam to help the Southeast Asian country conduct bomb and mine detection and clearance work, while Japan might donate special equipment worth over VND93 billion (US$4 million) to Vietnam.

Colonel Nguyen Hanh Phuc, deputy general director of the Vietnam National Mine Action Center, made this announcement at a press briefing on tackling post-war bomb and mine consequences in Hanoi on Tuesday.

“We have contacted the Japanese side for some discussions about the support. If the equipment is used in Vietnam’s northern border areas, it will work well,” said Colonel Phuc.

Vietnam and the U.S. have closely cooperated in addressing the post-war consequences of bombs and mines through the two countries’ ministries and departments of defense and foreign affairs, affirmed Colonel Phuc.

The two sides will continue discussions about mine detection and clearance technology development and research in the coming months, he added.

From now until 2028, the U.S. government will boost workforce training on mine and bomb detection and clearance in accordance with international standards and cover all fees for senior advisors and experts who will participate in Vietnam’s mine and bomb detection work.

Besides, Vietnam has asked the U.S. for help to detect and clear bombs and mines on an area of 300,000 hectares. The proposal is pending approval from the U.S. Congress.

A photo shows representatives attending a press conference on the settlement of post-war bomb and mine consequences and the response to the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action in Hanoi, April 4. Photo: Tong Giap / Tuoi Tre

Colonel Phuc also announced that via a project to detect and clear wartime bombs and mines and find martyrs’ remains in Ha Giang Province, northern Vietnam, 1,000 hectares of land in Vi Xuyen and Meo Vac Districts have been cleared.

Major Nguyen Thanh Dinh, vice-chairman of the Association for Tackling Bomb and Mine Consequences, said that the association has implemented various programs to support students and victims of bombs and mines.

Major Dinh also called on philanthropists and charity organizations to help residents overcome the consequences of bombs and mines.

Pham Thi Hai Ha, deputy head of the Department of Social Assistance under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, said that the Vietnamese government has enhanced efforts in improving the living quality of disabled people and victims of bombs and mines.

As a case in point, the basic level of social assistance to them was revised up by VND90,000 ($3.9) a month to VND360,000 ($15.4), while the victims of bombs and mines across the country are given jobs for a living.

An estimated 800,000 tonnes of bombs are left in the aftermath of the war in Vietnam, while some 6.1 million hectares, accounting for 18.31 percent of the country’s total area, are polluted by bombs and mines.

Tieu Bac – Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre News

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