Sunday, August 01, 2010

The authors of a ten-year plan to battle the affects of Agent Orange have witnessed the first trickle of US funding and hope for more

Two children affected by Agent Orange at Peace Village in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tu Du Maternity Hospital, a home for Agent Orange victims. Despite growing declarations of goodwill from high-level US officials, funding for Vietnamese Agent Orange victims remains elusive.

Vietnam has announced that it is “supportive” of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CMC), though it has yet to sign on to the international treaty.

Cluster bomb ban comes into effect

...The United States, the world's largest producer with the biggest stockpile of 800 million submunitions, has refused to sign the treaty so far, although it says it will ban the weapon from 2018....

The United Nations estimates almost half of all casualties are from Laos
, where people are still at risk of being injured from unexploded bomblets.

Between 1964 and 1973, at the height of Vietnam War, the US military dropped more than 2 million tons of explosive ordnance, including an estimated 260 million cluster munitions, mainly to disrupt enemy supply lines that passed through Laos.

It is thought that around 30 per cent of bomblets failed to explode on impact, and over two-thirds of the country is still contaminated. Experts say they kill or injure about 300 people a year....

Cambodia in clasp of cluster bombs

At least 26 million cluster bombs were dropped on Cambodia by the United States during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s.

And decades after the bombs stopped falling, millions of undetonated bombs lying in fields across the country continue to maim thousands of people who are unfortunate enough to step on them.

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