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NPA continues to support Vietnam National Mine Action Centre

07:44 | 28/08/2020

On August 26 in Hanoi, Jan Erik Støa, Country Director of the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) in Vietnam and Tran Trung Hoa, the new General Director of the Vietnam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on continued cooperation for coordination and provision of Senior Technical Advisor (STA) to the VNMAC for the period 2020-2022.

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npa continues to support vietnam national mine action centre
At the signing ceremony. Source: Vietnam National Mine Action Center

The signing ceremony was attended by representatives from the Ministry of National Defense, Engineering Command, and the US Embassy in Hanoi.

The event marked another milestone for both NPA and VNMAC as to manifest the effectiveness of previous cooperation and increase mutual credibility, as well as to show committed joint efforts in addressing the legacy of the wars in Vietnam, especially when VNMAC is concentrating on completing the legal framework in mine action and building a long-term development strategy as well as strengthening international cooperation, connecting with potential partners to serve the implementation of the tasks in the National Action Program for the settlement of post-war bomb and mine consequences (the Program 504 for short).

The provision of the STA to VNMAC has been made possible thanks to essential funding and support from the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the US State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

During phase 1 of the project, the senior technical advisor has assisted VNMAC in establishing itself as the national coordinating body for the mine action sector in Vietnam, and at the same time providing technical advice to VNMAC in the implementation of programs and activities to overcome the consequences of bombs, mines and explosives after the war; strengthening VNMAC through the transference of skills and technical expertise to VNMAC staff and relevant civilian and military mine action operators.

npa continues to support vietnam national mine action centre
On 13 July 2020, at Vietnam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC), Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and VNMAC held a ceremony to award certificates to four officers of VNMAC upon their completion of Quality Management training. Source: NPA

The wars in Vietnam have ended for a long time, but the amount of post-war unexploded ordnance (UXO) has been extremely large, contaminating about 6.13 million hectares of land, accounting for 18.71% national land area, posing a threat to the people’s life, and directly impacting on social security and the country’s development.

According to statistics, between 1945 and 1975, the volume of bombs, mines, and ordnance used by foreign countries in the wars in Vietnam was 15 million tons, 4 times as many as in the World War II.

Since the end of the war (April 1975), the post-war bombs and mines killed over 40,000 people and injured 60,000 people mainly in the central provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, and Quang Tri. Most of victims of post-war bombs and mines were breadwinners, and many of them are still alive but unable to work, consequently becoming a burden to their family and the society.

On March 4, 2014, the Prime Minister signed Decision No.319/QD-TTg on the establishment of the Vietnam National Mine Action Center.

The VNMAC is an organ placed under the direction of the Prime Minister, directly reporting to the Ministry of National Defense in the implementation and coordination of task performance of the Program 504.

The VNMAC is responsible for hosting UXO-related activities and cooperating with relevant agencies to carry out research, make proposals, set targets, build long-term, mid-term and short-term UXO consequence settlement plans, coordinate with relevant ministries, sectors, localities to implement approved plans, manage and monitor the implementation of plans to report to the Prime Minister.

The VNMAC is also the major organ to implement international cooperation activities, mobilize national support in the field of post-war UXO consequence settlement in Vietnam.

At the same time, it is also tasked with the dissemination of information and mobilization of resources, hosting of capacity-building activities for forces involved in UXO consequence settlement and management of information about UXO consequence settlement.

The VNMAC is responsible for the development, organization and implementation of the monitoring, quality control, and evaluation of Program 504 to report to the Prime Minister. The center is to coordinate the implementation of UXO clearance projects and tasks, assistance for UXO victims, dissemination of information about UXO accident prevention and other tasks under Program 504 while coordinating and guiding social organizations in carrying out post-war UXO consequence settlement activities./.

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