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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > February
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 7, 2003


U.S. Department of State Funds Survey of Vietnam's Landmine and Unexploded Ordnance Problem

The U.S. Department of State is underwriting a comprehensive survey of the extent to which landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) infest Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, a non-governmental organization with experience in conducting landmine surveys and other forms of humanitarian mine action, is implementing the first phase of a $6 million dollar project on behalf of the State Department. This survey will determine where landmines and other hazardous remnants of war are (or are not) located and help foster economic development in Vietnam.

On January 27, 2003, Vietnam's Ministry of Defense signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Hanoi with the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation to conduct landmine and UXO data collection, field surveys and data analysis in the central provinces of Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Ha Tinh over a 12 month period. The parameters of the survey are still being finalized. Depending on the results of the first phase, the survey may be expanded to other provinces in a second, final phase. This is the first time that Vietnam's Defense Ministry has signed an agreement with a non-governmental organization.

"This Landmine Impact Survey is a logical development that follows the historic agreement signed by Vietnam and the United States in June 2000, in which the U.S. agreed to supply $1.75 million dollars worth of demining equipment to support Vietnam's already extensive program to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance left from past conflicts," remarked Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr., Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State for Mine Action. Special Representative Bloomfield also serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs.

"The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation's proven expertise in the landmine survey field should contribute to enhancing Vietnam's humanitarian mine action program," added Donald "Pat" Patierno, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs in the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

Released on February 7, 2003

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