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VN-US ties tackling UXO in Quang Tri

VGP - US support for the war-torn central province of Quang Tri in settling the aftermath of war is substantial and the cooperation between the two is viewed by many international experts as a model for the region and the world, an insider has said.

07/13/2020 18:27
Members of a UXO detection team search for explosives in Hai Lang district, Quang Tri province (Photo: VNA)
In a recent interview with the Viet Nam News Agency, Nguyen Trieu Thuong, deputy head of the Quang Tri steering committee for the settlement of war-left unexploded ordnance
(UXO) consequences, said that over the last 25 years, via international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the US Government has helped the province carry out programmes and projects addressing UXO and assisting victims.

The US has provided 
Quang Tri with over US$40 million to date, accounting for almost 50% of the financial aid the province has received from international sponsors to tackle UXO.

In 1995, PeaceTrees Viet Nam became the first NGO from the US licensed to operate in UXO
search and clearance in Viet Nam, beginning an array of international cooperation activities in the field funded by the US, via such NGOs as the Mines Advisory Group, Clear Path International, and Norwegian People’s Aid, Thuong said.

She noted that these organizations assisted Quang Tri to detect and detonate 720,000 bombs, mines, and other explosives, clearing UXO on nearly 187 million square meters of land.

US support has also greatly helped with training international-standard technicians and applying modern technologies to UXO search and clearance, she said, describing this as an important resource for the province to proactively handle UXO-related issues in an effective and sustainable manner.

She held that for a province facing numerous difficulties like Quang Tri, the US assistance is substantial, and its cooperation with the US as well as international organizations is not only a vivid and typical demonstration of an effective and sustainable approach to war-left UXO settlement in Viet Nam but also, as many international experts said, a model for the region and the world to follow.

Quang Tri was the first locality in Viet Nam to build an action program for addressing UXO, for the 2016-2025 period, and was also the first to set up a steering committee to handle UXO.

However, she noted, despite certain achievements, a number of difficulties and challenges remain. More than 80% of the province’s area is still contaminated by bombs, mines and other types of explosives, posing latent risks to local lives and socio-economic development.

To become the first locality in Viet Nam to be free of UXO accidents by 2025, Quang Tri is adopting many intensive solutions, including promoting cooperation with international partners to seek funding for UXO programs and projects in the years to come.

In particular, the province is bolstering ties with the US and hopes to receive more support from the US Government in this task so that it can address UXO effectively and sustainably by itself in the near future, Thuong added./.
VNA