US to fund Vietnam mine clearance

The US plans to donate US$3.3 million to support the continuation of mine removal in Vietnam in fiscal year 2006, its embassy in Hanoi said in a press release on Tuesday.

Since 1993, the US government has been actively involved in assisting Vietnam in overcoming the social and economic impacts of explosive remnants of war, said the press release, adding that the US government remained committed to the principle of humanitarian assistance, and is looking forward to an active and productive cooperation with the Vietnam in the years ahead.

The US government has invested nearly $33 million in funding projects which locate, remove and destroy unexploded ordnance (UXO) and landmines in Vietnam.

Donation in recent years has included ambulances, firetrucks, motorcycles, mine detectors, individual protective equipment, a mobile blast containment system, robotic equipment, and other specialized equipment to support underwater de-mining activities.

A recent US government-funded project, phase I of a UXO Landmine Impact Survey, was completed in 2005, leading directly to the clearance of more than 6,200 pieces of explosive remnants of war.

Phase II is planned to commence this year and will expand to the four central localities of Nghe An, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam and Da Nang, according to the press release.

Vietnam was formally accepted as the 37th participant in the US Humanitarian De-mining Program in June 2000, and the US government is now the largest donor of humanitarian assistance for mine action programs in the country, the press release said.
Source: Xinhua