It included almost 200 detectors, which will be used for the 'Korea-Viet Nam Mine Action Project'. The official handover was done by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Viet Nam, His Excellency Mr. Do-Hyon Kim, to VNMAC Deputy Director General, Mr Nguyen Hanh Phuc, in the presence of the Country Director of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Viet Nam, Mr. Jinoh Kim and the Resident Representative a.i. of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Viet Nam, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen.
The 'Korea-Viet Nam Mine Action Project' was launched in March 2018 to strengthen the governance and management of national mine action activities, as well as to promote people's safety and development in areas contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), also referred to as Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). Specifically, through this project KOICA and UNDP support the Government of Viet Nam in implementing the National Mine Action Program for 2010 – 2025 in a joint effort to ensure a successful outcome of the plan, known also as Program 504.
According the National ERW Survey, the area of contamination in Quang Binh is estimated at 224,934 ha (almost 30% of the province). The project helps locate contaminated areas and remove ERW to ensure that the residents have safe access to basic social infrastructure, such as health clinics and schools, and to land needed for sustaining their livelihoods. Hence, the joint efforts of VNMAC, KOICA and UNDP aim to accelerate socio-economic development in the targeted provinces. An important aspect is to enhance national capacity regarding management and implementation of mine action projects, ensure timely support and quality of life for survivors from landmine and UXO accidents and their families and further reduce future accidents through increasing the awareness in local communities about the potential risk from ERW.
VNMAC has proudly announced that 4,600 hectares have been surveyed in Quang Binh and Binh Dinh provinces so far, and large areas confirmed as contaminated. 230 people from the People's Army of Viet Nam received training on a new survey methodology, as well as lectures on techniques and technology for survey and clearance operations. Meanwhile, 4,500 local people in 14 communes/5 districts improve knowledge mine risk awareness and education to promote sustainable livelihoods and jobs.
Addressing the handover ceremony, VNMAC Deputy Director General Nguyen Hanh Phuc said: "All the equipment handed over today are those with modern technical specifications, thus helping the Surveying and Clearance teams precisely identify where mine and UXO are contaminated, then clear them following technical procedure. At the same time, the equipment also helps VNMAC develop a database of contaminated area for clearance. This is an imporant database on land management for socio-economic development in the locality".
"This project is of great significance, helping Korea and Viet Nam harmonize between the history of the past and present, moving side-by-side on the path to the future," His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Do-Hyon Kim stressed. "Korea has a lot of experience in solving safety related issues. We are therefore very gald to work with UNDP in implementing this project".
Likewise, the Country Director of KOICA Vietnam Mr. Jinoh Kim expressed his great satisfaction with the speedy realization of this project and felt assured that the new equipment will further contribute to an effective and safe survey and clearance operation.
"Addressing the legacy of conflict and widespread contamination of explosive remnants of war remains an important development challenge for Viet Nam," UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Caitlin Wiesen said. "Our joint work with VNMAC, with generous support from KOICA, is demonstrating how the vital work of surveying, clearing and victim assistance can be accelerated and unleash potential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.'