This significant milestone in the U.S.-Vietnam relationship was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa BInh, leaders of the Ministry of National Defense, and representative from USAID and the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s Air Defense Air Force Command has handed over 37 hectares of the western portion of the airbase (known as Pacer Ivy) to USAID to begin ground operations for the Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Project.
The United States government has committed $300 million to restoring the airbase and surrounding areas, which will take 10 years to complete.
USAID-supported work crews have built roads, constructed gates and offices, and initiated land clearance and survey activities. The objective is to first eliminate the risk of further dioxin migration off base, working with Dong Nai authorities to clean areas off base, and then to treat and contain contaminated soils.
Also in the day, USAID also signed an agreement with the National Action Center for Chemical and Environmental Treatment to provide $65 million towards implementing activities that provide direct services to persons with severe disabilities in eight priority provinces over the next five years.
Specifically, USAID plans to work with the Government of Vietnam to strengthen Vietnam’s rehabilitation system and community support networks to ensure that all persons with disabilities have the opportunity to fully participate in society while improving their overall quality of life.
Speaking at the event, Standing Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh ordered the Ministry of National Defense to work with related agencies and localities to remove barriers and speed up the progress of dioxin remediation operations project ; especially take heed of protective measures for workers and locals during construction of the operation.