Quang Binh: Supporting UXO survivors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Thứ năm, 28/05/2020

In the context of the global COVID-19 epidemic, there are still complicated developments that greatly affect the lives of people, in which landmine / UXO victims are the most vulnerable and in need of assistance.

Quang Binh: Supporting UXO survivors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Within the framework of the Vietnam-South Korea Cooperation project to overcome the consequences of mines after the war (KV-MAP), on 26th May, Korea International Cooperation Agency in Vietnam (KOICA) in collaboration with the Program United Nations Development (UNDP), Viet Nam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC) and Quang Binh Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs had visited and presented gifts, including food, masks and hand-gel to the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of Quang Binh province and directly to 14 mine / UXO survivors in Quang Son commune, Ba Don town, Quang Binh province. A total of 9,100 mine / UXO survivors in Quang Binh and Binh Dinh provinces will receive this assistance in the near future.

Mr. Cho Han-Deog, KOICA Country Director spoke at the gift giving ceremony to the landmine / UXO victims. 

At the handover ceremony, Mr. Cho Han-Deog, Country Director of KOICA Vietnam said: “Meeting with mine / UXO survivors and talking with them, I found the KV-MAP project to be very effective, especially the victim support element. These are the most vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully these gifts will help them somewhat stabilize their lives after the epidemic and continue to develop.”

Mr. Cho Han-Deog added that many people were seriously affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. In the fight against epidemics, the solidarity of the nations is crucial. The items that the Korea-Vietnam Cooperate Project to UXO victims in overcoming the consequences of mines are the affection and solidarity of the Korean people towards the Vietnamese people.

Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Viet Nam Resident Representative and Mr. Cho Han-Deog presented gifts to landmine / UXO survivors. 

At the gift presentation ceremony for landmine / UXO survivors, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Viet Nam Resident Representative said: “We look forward to meeting the urgent needs of mine / UXO survivors as to counter the COVID-19 epidemic. This event is a continuation of the survey results that was published 10 days ago. I am pleased to join the KOICA Country Director in attending the event and presenting gifts such as food, masks, and hand wash to 14 representatives of the 9,100 mine / UXO survivors and victims' families in the two provinces – Quang Binh and Binh Dinh – to support the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic."

Representing the locals, Mr. Trinh Dinh Duong - Deputy Director of the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Quang Binh province informed: “Quang Binh is one of the provinces that suffered the most during the war. On average, each square meter of Quang Binh Province is exposed to 29kg of mines and UXO. Since 1975, Quang Binh province has over 3,000 people died and more than 3,000 were injured due to leftover mine and UXO accidents. Therefore, the KV-MAP project is especially important for local people.”

Mr. Duong also emphasized: “The clearance survey component of the KV-MAP Project helps to recover landmines and explosive remnants after the war, creating a safe environment for people to carry out production activties and construction of civil works. In the difficult economic conditions of the province, the KV-MAP project has contributed to supporting the province and the people of Quang Binh to increase the clean land fund, serving public works, helping people feel secure in labor and production.”

High-level delegation during the gift presentation. 

Moved by the concern of the high-ranking delegation, Ms. Phan Thi Thuong, representing mine / UXO survivors in Quang Son commune, Ba Don town said: “I am very grateful and happy to receive the gifts that representatives gave to mine victims like we are today. These presents will help me and my family in daily life.”

Previously, with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Embassy of Ireland in Vietnam, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), UNDP conducted a quick survey on economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities and landmine / UXO survivors.


Survey results show that 66% of landmine / UXO survivors do not have enough money to buy basic necessities, 59% had a fall in income that they share with their family, and 35% are facing temporary unemployment.

Supporting mine / UXO survivors and their families is one of the key components of the Vietnam-South Korea Cooperation Project to overcome the consequences of post-war mines, with a coordinated deployment by VNMAC, UNDP, and the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs since 2018.

The project aims to strengthen post-war mine action activities, towards a safe and sustainable community. Together with the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the project has built an official database of 75,000 people with disabilities, including 9,100 mine / UXO victims in Quang Binh and Binh Dinh provinces. This database also includes information on the needs assessment of people with disabilities, thereby helping the Project to provide appropriate support to target groups.
The "Vietnam-South Korea Cooperation Project on recovering from effects of post-war mines and UXO" also focuses on strengthening the management of mine action activities at the national level and minimizing future accident by raising awareness of local communities about potential dangers from mines and UXO.

So far, the Project has surveyed nearly 17,000 hectares and cleared more than 4,000 hectares of land contaminated with mines and UXO in Quang Binh & Binh Dinh, providing more clean land for development projects in these two provinces. In addition, over 150,000 students and locals have been educated on safe behaviors while living in environments affected by mines and UXO left over from the war.