Vietnam News Agency Fund Aids 1,000 Agent Orange Victims
The Vietnam News Agency’s (VNA) AO/Dioxin Relief Fund has helped over 1,000 AO/Dioxin victims’ families in cities and provinces across the country since its establishment last December 1. More than VND1.23 billion (US$77,100) has been raised. Wheelchairs and drugs have also been donated to the fund in an effort to relieve the enduring pain of AO/Dioxin victims.
"I am very happy to receive a wheelchair today for my daughter – the first one in her life," said 66-year-old war veteran Nguyen Van Hoa at a ceremony to celebrate the fund’s first birthday yesterday.
His 23-year-old daughter, Nguyen Thi Huong, can neither move her body nor communicate with others – the result of toxic chemicals sprayed by US troops on Hoa’s body when he fought on Quang Tri battlefield in 1972.
Like Hoa’s family, many AO/Dioxin victims have received a total sum of VND720 million ($45,000), among other assistance. The fund has also helped various provincial AO/Dioxin victim organisations and educational centres for disabled children.
"One year is not a long time, but the fund has received donations and support from hundreds of organisations and individuals. The support comes not only from our nation, but from many other countries throughout the world," said the fund’s chairman, VNA Deputy General Director and VNS Editor-in-Chief Tran Mai Huong.
At yesterday’s ceremony, Greek Ambassador to Viet Nam, Platon Alexis Hadjimichalis, on behalf of his president and government, presented EUR 20,000 to the fund and another EUR10,000 to the Da Nang AO/Dioxin Victims Association and the Viet Nam Association for the Handicapped.
Famous Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son and the National Symphony Orchestra donated all VND48 million ($3,000) they earned from their two-day classical concert earlier this year to the fund.
Viet Nam has recorded over 3 million AO/Dioxin victims so far.