US aircraft spray chemicals during the war in Vietnam (File photo)
– More than 500 entries have
been sent to the first press awards on the Agent Orange (AO) disaster and the
settlement of consequences of the toxic chemicals used by the US during the war
The awards were launched by the Vietnam
Association for Victims of AO (VAVA) in early 2020.
Entries were submitted by both professional and
amateur writers such as reporters from press agencies, members of the armed
forces, and overseas Vietnamese.
The eldest contestant is an 81-year-old man in
Thanh Xuan district of Hanoi.
Eighty outstanding entries have been chosen for
the final round, which will select three first-place prizes, five second-place
prizes, 10 third-place prizes, 15 consolation prizes, and some supplementary
The award presentation ceremony is scheduled to
take place around the 60th Vietnam AO/Dioxin Disaster Day (August 10).
From 1961-1971, the US troops sprayed more than
80 million litres of herbicides - 44 million litres of which were AO containing
nearly 370 kilograms of dioxin - over southern Vietnam.
As a result, around 4.8 million Vietnamese were
exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of
their descendants are living with deformities and diseases as a direct result
of the chemical’s effects./.