South Korea-supported Mine Action Project Launched

South Korea-supported project on overcoming the consequences of post-war bombs and mines was launched during a ceremony in the central province of Quang Binh on March 9. Prolonged wars left 6.13 million ha of land in Vietnam contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) accounting for 18.82 %  of the country’s total land. Over 100,000 people died or injured due to UXOs. Quang Binh and Binh Dinh are among the hard hit in terms of contamination level and the number of victims with limited preventive measures. In Binh Dinh, the land contaminated with UXOs make up of over 40 %  of the total land and UXO-caused casualties numbered around 3,000. The respective figures in Quang Binh are roughly 28 %  and nearly 6,000 people. The project will be carried out in the two provinces by the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre, and sponsors – the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations Development Program in Vietnam (UNDP) from now till December 2020. Speaking at the event, Lee Myion, Minister at the South Korea Embassy in Vietnam said South Korea government commits $20 million in grant aid to the project via the KOICA with commitments to making real changes in the lives of many people in the central region. She said the landmark project underlined genuine friendship between peoples of the two countries and would help South Korea gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by Vietnam and work together to overcome them, thus serving the importance purpose of bringing two peoples ever closer. Lieut. Gen Le Hien Van, 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 the committee and the Ministry of National Defense highly value the collaboration between KOICA, UNDP and the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre over the past years and look forward to more cooperation, valuable support and contribution of the international community to Vietnam for overcoming the consequences of the war for the noble and humanitarian objective. He asked units and localities concerned to work closely together to ensure the progress, quality, safety and efficiency of the project, which is expected to improve Vietnam’s capacity of overcoming the aftermath of bombs and mines. (VOV Mar 9)