“Victims in connection with America’s spraying of Agent Orange during the American War in Vietnam must be assisted more, especially from the US side,” said U.S. Congressman Bob Filner during a visit to Vietnam this month.

Congressman Filner, the sponsor of H.R. 2634, the “Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011,” visited Vietnam from January 5-11, 2012 to study the impact of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese people. Congressman Filner was hosted by the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA) and coordinated by the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers provided funding assistance.

Congressman Filner visited Agent Orange victims in Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau, Cu Chi, Danang, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh and Hanoi. He saw daycare, homecare and rehabilitation projects run by the representative of Vietnam’s victims, the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin. In Vung Tau, Congressman Filner visited a VAVA project which cares for former ARVN (U.S. allied) soldiers and their families effected by Agent Orange.

Congressman Filner met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Vice President of the National Assembly as well as with medical and scientific experts on Agent Orange. He also visited a pagoda and spoke with Buddhist monks.

H.R. 2634 provides for assistance to Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, cleanup of the toxic hot spots where dioxin still endangers lives and the environment, and health care assistance for offspring of U.S. veterans and Vietnamese Americans affected by Agent Orange.

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