Vietnam’s mine action programs

(VOVworld)- Vietnam is one of the countries most contaminated with landmines and the one that has suffered the most serious consequences. More than 40,000 people have been killed and 60,000 injured by landmines since 1975. Vietnam has carried out several programs to clear the mines and assist the victims.
Vietnam’s mine action programs - ảnh 1
Vietnam strengthens mine action programs

A project to locate and map landmine contamination has found that more than 6.8 million ha, about 20% of Vietnam’s total land area, are contaminated by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). Unexploded ordnance is scattered throughout Vietnam, but is concentrated in the central region.

Funding mine clearance and assistance to victims

Vietnam spends more than 50 million USD annually on mine clearance and additional millions on economic assistance, rehabilitation, vocational training, and resettlement of landmine victims. Vietnam has retrieved and defused millions of tons of bomb and mines and cleared thousands of ha of land to create a safer environment and reduce landmine accidents. Since 2010, Vietnam has cleared between 30,000 and 50,000 ha of landmine contaminated land. But the job is not done. Nghiem Dinh Thien is Deputy Director of the Engineering Command’s Center for Demining Technology: Demining in residential areas is difficult because we lack financial support. People in landmine contaminated areas lack an awareness of landmines and UXO but they need to earn their living there”.

The Party and State have paid special attention to assisting landmine victims. Landmine survivor assistance programs have been integrated into programs and policies for people with disabilities like the Labor Code, the Law on People with Disabilities, and the Prime Minister’s Decision 1019 approving a project to assist people with disabilities in the 2012-2020 period. The government has helped landmine survivors reintegrate into the community, stabilize their lives, and access functional rehabilitation services. To Duc is Deputy Head of the Social Protection Department of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs: “The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has worked with relevant ministries, sectors, and localities to develop services for people with disabilities and landmine victims. A community-based functional rehabilitation system for landmine victims has been established. In the near future, we will continue to review our policies to provide prompt support for landmine victims and will help localities improve their capacity in assisting landmine victims”.

Vietnam joins international mine activities

It is estimated that it will cost 10 billion USD and take more than 100 years to completely clear the bombs and mines left over from the war in Vietnam. And billions more are needed for resettlement and ensuring social security in landmine contaminated areas. Many international organizations have also stepped in to help Vietnamese landmine victims. Mr. To Duc again: “With assistance from international partners, Vietnam has fine-tuned its support mechanism and policies, developed service systems, and improved its landmine clearance capacity. Vietnam has mobilized international cooperation in this effort. Foreign partners have persuaded Vietnam to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled to show the Vietnamese government’s strong commitment to international conventions”.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs proposed a project to create a social security database, one of whose goals will be to track social beneficiaries and the disabled, including landmine victims. The Ministry has also worked with the Association to Support People with Disabilities, the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, and international organizations to pilot a database of landmine victims.