During the Vietnam war, Quang Tri province was heavily sprayed with Agent Orange and other toxic herbicides, ranking it among the most contaminated areas in the country. More than 13,000 people in the province suffer disabilities assumed to be caused by Agent Orange contaminated with dioxin. While the United States is making very substantial efforts to clean up soil and water contamination at former U.S. airbases, there is also U.S. funding – currently in seven provinces – for programs to assist disabled victims of Agent Orange.
RENEW, however, has made a start. During the last few years, over 30 families with severe disabilities assumed to be caused by Agent Orange have received support from RENEW to renovate their homes, improve sanitation and raise breeding cows for income. These disabilities are often so severe that substantial investment is required to create a safe environment for the disabled, often in families that are impoverished by the burden of being care-givers.
RENEW intends to cooperate with one or more international partners to seek funding for a series of pilot projects focused on community-based rehabilitation and case management to extend tailored support, including medical, social work and income generation, to families affected by past exposure to Agent Orange. Community volunteers will be trained to international standards to deliver these services. RENEW intends that these projects would be scalable to be deployed in neighboring provinces as well.