Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has suggested US scientists conduct deeper research to establish concrete data which can be used as a basis to ask for assistance in environmental detoxification and rehabilitation treatment for Agent Orange victims.
Nhan made the proposal at a meeting in Hanoi on June 8 with a delegation of the American public health association under the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC), led by Susan M. Schnall.
He stressed that millions of Vietnamese people were exposed to the Agent Orange sprayed by the US troop during the war in Vietnam and the toxic chemical continues to affect younger generations of the victims.
After the Vietnamese Government and people presented clear evidence on the AO consequences, the US Government has become aware of their responsibility and has taken the first step in overcoming the aftermath of the chemical warfare, but it is not enough, the Deputy PM said.
He went on to say that the Vietnamese Government is implementing community-based rehabilitation projects for AO victims with the aim of improving their living conditions and helping them integrate into the community. However, the work is hindered by limited financial resource while the victims’ need is huge.
For her part, Susan Schnall, who is VAORRC coordinator, said her delegation came to Vietnam to meet AO victims and inspect AO-infected sites.
According to Schnall, the delegation has also got together with a number of US congressmen to draw up a draft bill requiring the US government to pay compensation to Vietnamese AO victims, and deal with consequences on the environment.
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