Millions of Vietnamese are victims of Agent Orange and dioxin used by the US army during the Vietnam War and should be supported to win the fight for justice, officials said during a conference in Hanoi on August 8.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that domestic assistance for the victims remains modest despite many efforts.
“We hope to win justice for all AO/Dioxin victims, including Vietnamese,” he said.
The conference was held on the 55th anniversary of Vietnam’s Day for Agent Orange Victims. It was attended by former Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama, local and foreign scientists, ambassadors and representatives of international organizations in Vietnam.
Dam shared stories of Vietnamese families who are struggling with medical issues caused by Agent Orange and pointed out that a vast area of contaminated land still cannot be used for farming.
The US army sprayed around 80 million liters of defoliants, 61 percent of which were dioxin, on nearly 26,000 Vietnamese neighborhoods of over three million of hectares in the decade between 1961 and 1971. That was an "unprecedented disaster in human history," Dam said.
On average, each Vietnamese suffered from nearly three liters of dioxin and an amount of bombs and mines nearly ten times of their weight.
The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) reported that around 4.8 million Vietnamese were directly exposed to the deadly chemical substance.
Among them three million have showed and suffered from dioxin-related disabilities and conditions. The number does not include children of those directly exposed.