US and Vietnam begin talks to decontaminate areas affected by Agent Orange

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Handicapped children, most of them victims of Agent Orange

United States and Vietnamese officials began meetings in Hanoi on Tuesday to discuss further funding to help victims still suffering from exposure to the chemical Agent Orange.

Officials in Vietnam are requesting more funding from the US in order to clean up the Da Nang International Airport, a major "hot spot" for Agent Orange. Vietnamese Vice Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Cong claimed that "the committed funds from the US government have not been disbursed." The Vietnamese government claims it will cost US$58 million to clean up the Da Nang airport and two other contaminated locations. The US has so far pledged $8 million.

Agent Orange was used during the Vietnam war in order to defoliate the dense Vietnam jungle. Vietnamese officials say that up to three million Vietnamese suffer from exposure to it today. The chemical has been linked to dangerous diseases such as diabetes, cancer and birth defects.