Monday, August 17, 2009
USA, Vietnam to join AO dialogue next month
The third JAC meeting in 2008.
VietNamNet Bridge – The US Embassy in Vietnam and the Vietnamese National Steering Board for Solving the Consequences of Agent Orange/Dioxin announced today, August 12th , that the fourth annual meeting of the Vietnam-US Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) will take place from September 8th – 10th.
The JAC has the participation of representatives from the US Departments of State, Defence, Health and Human Services as well as the the Environment Protection Agency and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The committee works to increase the bilateral coordination and cooperation in health care and study of AO/dioxin impacts on the environment. This will be done through scientific discussions to provide suggestions for the two governments for future policy reference.
The three previous meetings of JAC focused on technical exchanges between Vietnam and the US .
Last year, JAC set up task forces to speed up activities to address Agent Orange/dioxin consequences in Vietnam . The environmental task forces are responsible for outlining programmes and for identifying priorities pertaining to defining levels and scope of contamination, selecting appropriate treatment methods aswell as building master projects and sub-master projects in order to gradually stamp out dioxin contamination in Da Nang , Bien Hoa and Phu Cat.
The task forces will also join in formulating a program framework and activities targeting people’s health. These activities will include the care of people with disabilities, including Agent Orange/Dioxin victims, and the counseling on reproductive health and hereditary to reduce the number of newborns with congenital deformity.
This year, JAC will discuss in detail the implementation of environmental and health solutions last year and the contribution of other donors to the cause.
Last October, the US International Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a $1 million package for three partners in Da Nang to carry out projects for victims of dioxin. In June 2009, the American Environmental Protection Agency and the Vietnam Institute of Science and Technology suggested an experimental project to treat dioxin pollution at Da Nang Airport .
Early this year, the US Congress granted an additional $3 million for healthcare and dioxin erasing activities in Da Nang City . In 2007, the US also granted $3 million aid for such activities in Vietnam .
Da Nang International Airport is a “hot spot”, with dioxin content levels 300-400 times greater than permitted levels. Estimates have put the cost of the airport clean up at $14 million.