The impact and tragedy of war does not end with the silencing of guns. Agent Orange/Dioxin’s pernicious effect on environment and humans in Vietnam persists to this day, more than forty years after the official end of the war. According to the 2009 census, today in Viet Nam, an estimated more than six million persons or nearly 8% of the population live with disabilities (PWD). Of those a sizable number are Agent Orange survivors (AOS) and their offspring. Additionally, 1.5 million tons of bombs, mines and Unexploded ordnance (UXOs) still lie beneath the ground over 6.1 million ha of land or 18.7% of Viet Nam’s total area causing more than 100,000 injuries and fatalities since 1975. Most victims of UXOs accidents including sappers and deminer come from more deprived families/ poorer rural households. These accidents often result in loss of limb(s) and thus negatively affect already modest live hoods. These victims are still paying the price of war and struggling.
Inspired by a humanitarian desire to raise the community’s awareness of and empathy with the efforts and struggle of PWD/AOS to overcome their challenging conditions and circumstances and help them do so, Ho Chi Minh City Peace and Development Foundation (HPDF) is promoting the Orange Initiative (OI).The Orange Initiative (OI) is an initiative of Ho Chi Minh City Peace and Development Foundation (HPDF) to raise awareness of the struggle which people with disabilities and survivors of UXO and Agent Orange face every day.