THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam)
______For Immediate Release November 18,
U.S. Humanitarian Demining in Vietnam
Vietnam is among the countries most severely affected by landmines and
unexploded ordnance. There are an estimated 3.5 million landmines left
over from various conflicts. Many of these mines are homemade mines from
recycled unexploded ordnance (UXO). There are about 300,000 tons of UXO in
Vietnam. Each year, Vietnamese suffer over 2,000 casualties from landmines
and unexploded ordnance.
The Vietnamese have had an ongoing demining and UXO program, However, as a
result of increased dialogue on this and other issues, the Vietnamese
joined the United States, in June of this year, in a Humanitarian Demining
program. As a result of this cooperative program, the United States has
Over $3.1 million in support of Vietnamese humanitarian demining efforts
-- $1.7 million of which was designated for the purchase of equipment,
including vehicles, personal safety equipment and landmine/UXO detectors
$1.4 million to initiate a much needed "level one" national survey to
help determine the scope of the problem and make recommendations for
addressing it. A visit to Vietnam by survey experts is scheduled before
the end of the year to begin preliminary planning for this project.
$200,000 to develop a computer system and a database that will tell the
Vietnamese the location of mines and the location and type of ordnance
used in Vietnam during the war. The site survey for this project is
being done in conjunction with the President's visit.
$80,000 for a computer system that will help the Vietnamese manage their
In 1998, the Department of State provided funding for a mine-awareness
program in Dong Ha, in the Quang Tri Province, implemented by Peacetrees
International (an NGO) and James Madison University. The Mine Awareness
Project has provided funding and training for local residents and was
designed to allow trainees to carry out mine-awareness training in their
Since 1991, USAID's Leahy War Victims Fund has provided more than $15
million to provide rehabilitation services for adults and children and
advance the standard of prosthetics technology, including:
-More than 50,000 orthopedic devices fit and delivered;
-The Vietnamese Disability Act signed and passed;
-More than 300 rehabilitation personnel provided with standard
-Nine rehabilitation centers renovated and upgraded; and
-Public and private sector partnerships.
This month, a delegation of Vietnamese demining experts completed an
extensive visit to the United States to learn about the latest demining
management and technologies. The delegation visited several U.S. Army
bases for briefings and demonstrations of the latest demining technology
and U.S. training standards.
Since 1993, the United States has contributed more than $400 million for
humanitarian demining around the world and will add nearly $100 million
more in FY 2001.
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