In addressing the impacts of Agent Orange in Vietnam, the Vietnamese Government, non-governmental organizations and the people of Vietnam have been very supportive, even though resources in Vietnam are limited. (Per capita income is less than $1200/year.)
- The Vietnamese Government provides $50 million a year in monthly stipends to 200,000 Vietnamese whose health has been affected by their or their parent’s exposure to the herbicides used during the war in Vietnam.
- The Vietnamese Government has also invested millions of dollars and man-hours in reforestation projects to replant the mangroves and the Ma Da Forest, and to plant single species plantations of acacia and eucalyptus in the defoliated highlands to prevent further erosion.
- The Viet Nam Red Cross and the Viet Nam Association of Victims of Agent Orange have raised millions for those believed to be affected by Agent Orange/dioxin.
“You sign a contract, it doesn’t mean the war is over.”
– Suel Jones, Vietnam Friendship Village, 2007.
Up until 2010, the single largest contributor – other than the Vietnamese Government – to efforts to mitigate the impacts of Agent Orange was the Ford Foundation, investing more than $11 million over 10 years, including funding the Agent Orange Record. Ford was also active in encouraging other donors to support Agent Orange related programs in Vietnam.
Starting in 2008, the USAID began to fund NGOs to provide direct services to people with disabilities in Vietnam who may have been impacted by Agent Orange. The most current round of funding, nearly $43 Million for the period of 2015-2023, is supporting both foreign and Vietnamese NGOs.
In recent years, more and more international and local NGOs have been focusing their work on reaching out to those in Vietnam believed to be affected by Agent Orange/Dioxin, including:
- Inclusive and special education;
- Vocational training;
- Community based rehabilitation;
- Special surgery and other medical care;
- Training of physical and occupational therapists, and medical professionals;
- Early detection and early intervention of birth defects and disabilities;
- Micro-credit and income generation for poor families with ill or disabled family members; and,
- Environmental remediation programs.
However, the governmental and non-governmental programs in Vietnam altogether reach less than 10 percent of those in need.
Much more needs to be done to reduce the burden of disabilities on Vietnamese families by expanding services to the victims, and to their families.
Hatfield has completed numerous assessments of Agent Orange, a dioxin-contaminated herbicide that was widely used by the US military during the US-Viet Nam war.
A presentation by Phung Tuu Boi, Boi Center for Assistance in Nature Conservation and Community Development, Vietnam and advisor to the Vietnam Victims of Agent Orange Association (VAVA).
By the Congressional Research Service, May 2020 update.