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Vietnam signs UXO clearance aid pack with U.S. mine advisory group

HANOI, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's central Quang Tri Province and the Mine Advisory Group (MAG) of the United States on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to carry out an unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance project in the province between 2015 and 2017.

According to the MoU, the U.S. State Department has pledged to sponsor 10 million U.S. dollars in aid for the province to disarm UXO left over from the war in Vietnam.

The project aims to reduce the risks of injuries caused by UXO while clearing contaminated areas and improving local livelihoods, reported Vietnam's state-run news agency VNA.

Quang Tri Province and the MAG will decide on the operational scale of UXO disarming teams and will adjust as necessary through each period of the project.

The two sides are expected to further their cooperation to ensure safe cultivative land for farmers and contribute to local socio-economic development, said Vice Chairman of the provincial people's committee Mai Thuc.

Local authorities pledged to facilitate the implementation of the project, he added.

Statistically, some 391,500 hectares of land in Quang Tri are contaminated due to UXOs, making up more than 83 percent of the provincial area. In 1996, Quang Tri was the first locality in Vietnam to receive global support in defusing bombs and mines.

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