Exhibition entitled “Agent Orange – Conscience and Justice” opens to commemorate 58 years of the Agent Orange tragedy in Viet Nam (August 10, 1961 - August 10, 2019)


The United States’ chemical war in Viet Nam was the longest, biggest and most disastrous war in human history. Between 1961 and 1971, the U.S. military sprayed some 80 million litres of toxic chemicals, 61 percent of which was Agent Orange, over one-fourth of the then South Vietnamese territory. The use of those chemicals, which contained 366 kilogrammes of dioxin in total, ended in tragedy, leaving behind a serious impact upon the environment and human health.


To commemorate 58 years of the Agent Orange tragedy in Viet Nam (August 10, 1961 - August 10, 2019), the People’s Committee of Gia Lai Province, Viet Nam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA) and its local chapter in Gia Lai, the Chemical Corps High Command, Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Gia Lai, Department of Culture and Sports of Hồ Chí Minh City, Chemical Corps Museum, War Remnants Museum, Gia Lai Province Museum and Third Corps Museum jointly organised the exhibition entitled “Agent Orange – Conscience and Justice” in Pleiku Town on the morning of July 18, 2019.


The exhibition sought to present to the public nearly 200 photos and 100 objects related to the chemical war in Viet Nam, and show the efforts to clear toxic chemicals left over after the war, cope with environmental contamination, join hands with foreign friends to clean the environment, protect people’s health, stabilize their lives and develop the economy and society.


The exhibition had five parts: Part I - Agent Orange tragedy and pain; Part II - Viet Nam copes with consequences of the chemical war; Part III - Activities of the VAVA and its fight for justice; Part IV - Examples of Agent Orange/dioxin victims who have overcome difficulties; Part V - Gia Lai Province in efforts to cope with Agent Orange tragedy and particular activities of the VAVA’s local chapter in Gia Lai.


Among the 4.8 million Vietnamese exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin, roughly 13,000 were in Gia Lai Province. More than 6,225 were direct victims, while 6,747 were indirect victims, including 456 who were the third generation of those who were exposed directly. Several families of the victims are at risk of no longer being capable of reproducing. Tens of thousands of children suffer from deformities, birth defects and are vegetables. Many women do not feel happiness as a wife and mother. Many others gradually die, writhing in pain day after day, hour after hour due to abominable diseases linked to Agent Orange/dioxin.


Since its founding in 2004, the VAVA and its chapter in Gia Lai has conducted several practical activities to protect the rights and legal benefits of the victims, provide them with care and support, both physically and mentally, and fight for their justice. One of the best parts is the sauna and detoxification centre that improves the health and the quality of life for the victims. Between 2015 and 2019, the centre provided 40 courses of sauna and detoxification for 714 victims of Agent Orange/dioxin, including veterans, soldiers, youth volunteers and workers in the province and other localities. Additionally, 33 houses were repaired or newly built for the victims who still face difficulties in their daily life, costing around VND5.4 billion (US$234,094). Interest-free loans are granted to the victims in order that they produce goods, and raise animals for products. Cows are given to extremely poor families.


Deeds the VAVA’s Gia Lai chapter have performed for the last few years now are still quite modest, but together with the VAVA in general, it has contributed to efforts to help the victims to overcome their lack of self-esteem, and encourage them to integrate into the community. With 4.8 million people exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin nationwide, many joint efforts and support services of the local community and international friends are in desperate need to help alleviate the pain of the victims of Agent Orange/dioxin because they are the poorest among the poor, and are the people who suffer the most among those who suffer.

  Date 02/08/2019  


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