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Issue 27
, 2010
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5 mln USD to dioxin cleanup

Source:, Date: , 2010

A five-million USD project to clean up hotspots of dioxin contamination in Vietnam  was signed in Hanoi  on June 28 by representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The project, funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP, will focus on decontamination at Bien Hoa airport in the southern province of Dong Nai. It also help treat dioxin hotspots in Da Nang and Phu Cat airports in central Vietnam as well as other smaller spots with the use of internationally proven techniques.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen hailed the involvement of UNDP and GEF in decontaminating dioxin, a component of Agent Orange, in Vietnam.

The project is also a good opportunity for other international partners to participate in the treatment of dioxin contaminated areas in the country, Minister Nguyen said.

John Hendra, UN resident coordinator, stressed Vietnam’s efforts in overcoming wartime dioxin aftermaths, including the cleanup of hotspots particularly the worst-affected site in the Bien Hoa airport.

However, further efforts are needed for the thorough decontamination of these sites, the UN official added.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s report, the US troops sprayed between 72 million to 80 million litres of herbicides in southern Vietnam during the wartime, of which Agent Orange is the most dangerous as it contains the highly toxic dioxin. The concentration of dioxin in the three main hotspots is much higher than nationally and internationally accepted levels. Without prompt actions, these sites will continue to contaminate the environment and pose serious health risks to people living and working nearby.