Prolonged wars in Viet Nam have resulted in significant amounts of landmines and diversified unexploded ordnance (UXO) which threaten people’s lives. After the war, the Government of Viet Nam has paid special attention to overcoming the consequences of the war, and to mine action to ensure peaceful lives and create favorable conditions for socio-economic development and people’s improved living standards.
Survey shows that more than 40 percent of Binh Dinh province’s area is contaminated with landmines and UXO, with all 159 of the province’s communes impacted. Meanwhile in Quang Binh province, nearly 28 percent is similarly affected.
“The Korean Government, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has committed to provide approximately USD 20 million in grant aid to Viet Nam for this project,” Ms. Lee Miyon, Minister at the Korean Embassy in Viet Nam, said at the launching ceremony.
Minister Lee Miyon said the landmark project underlined genuine friendship between peoples of the two countries and would help Korea gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by Viet Nam and work together to overcome them, thus serving the important purpose of bringing two peoples ever closer.
“As we all understand, this project is not an easy one, it requires strong commitment, high-level skills and close consultations among stakeholders,” said Minister Lee Miyon. “KOICA will work closely with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to ensure best possible expertise and professionalism in our works. KOICA is also committed to a strong partnership with the Vietnamese Government so this project contributes to real changes in the lives of many people in central Viet Nam”.
The project will help identify contaminated areas and remove landmines and UXO to ensure people’s safety during their day-to-day work and lives, thus accelerating socio-economic development. Mine action management and execution capacity will also be enhanced. The project will timely support victims of landmines and UXO to improve their quality of life and raise people’s awareness of mine risks.
“The important work of this mine action project is critical to accelerating sustainable development benefits for Viet Nam and especially for the people who continue to be affected by landmines,” UNDP Country Director in Viet Nam Ms. Caitlin Wiesen said at the launching ceremony. “The project also builds upon the capacity that Viet Nam has developed on mine action and will continue to further develop and expand that expertise which should be shared with other countries in the region and globally”.
Lieutenant General Le Hien Van, Deputy Director-General of the General Political Department of the People’s Army of Viet Nam and Deputy Head of the Standing Office of the National Steering Committee for Overcoming the Consequences of Chemical and Explosive Remnants of War (701 Steering Committee), said at the project’s launching ceremony: “The Steering Committee and Ministry of Defence always highly appreciate the collaboration of KOICA and UNDP, that have cooperated with Viet Nam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC) over the past time and look forward to more cooperation, valuable support and contribution of the international community to Viet Nam for overcoming the consequences of the war, for the noble and humanitarian objective”.
Major General Phung Ngoc Son, General Director of the Viet Nam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC), said the project was one of the largest of its type supported by foreign aid and would directly support people in contaminated areas to meet humanitarian, social security and sustainable development objectives, as prioritized by Programme No. 504 and cooperation between Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 504 Steering Committee (now 701 Steering Committee) on mine action in Viet Nam.