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Geography

Located in North Central Vietnam, Quang Tri Province is bordered by Quang Binh Province on the North, Hue Province to the South, Lao PDR on the West and on the East is the East Sea and a coastline of 75 kilometers. It has a natural area of 4,747 square kilometers and a population of 613,000. People living in rural and mountainous areas make up 75% of the population.  Kinh people (Vietnamese) account for 91% of the province’s population. The other two ethnic groups are Van Kieu and Pako, who mainly live in the mountains.

 Administrative Division

Quang Tri Province has one city named Dong Ha, one township called Quang Tri, and eight districts including: Vinh Linh, Gio Linh, Cam Lo, Trieu Phong, Hai Lang, Dakrong, Huong Hoa, and Con Co Island.

History

The province was split in 1954 by the 17th Parallel, a temporary line of demarcation between the Northern and Southern parts of Vietnam.

As the U.S. began to pour troops and supplies into the South, Quang Tri Province and the Demilitarized Zone (or DMZ) soon became the scene of some of the fiercest ground fighting of the Vietnam War. It was subjected to the heaviest bombing campaign in the history of the world, more than the amount of ordnance used in Europe during World War II.

It was estimated that about 10 percent of ordnance did not detonate as designed, meaning that in Quang Tri much of the dangerous and unstable munitions still lie just under the earth in the province to this present day.

Economy

During recent years, the provincial economy has measured a good growth rate, about 10.8% during 2006-2010 and 9.6% in 2011. The average per capita income reached about $800 USD in 2010. The economic structure has shifted so that industry-construction accounts for 34.7% of GDP while agriculture-forestry-aquaculture and services account for 29.9% and 35.4% respectively.

Difficulties and Challenges

The percentage of poverty-stricken households in 2013 was 12%, dramatically higher than the average ratio in the rest of Vietnam. However, this ratio may reach 30% in poor mountainous communes in Huong Hoa, Vinh Linh, and Gio Linh Districts, where people have low access to health care and education services.

83% of the total area in Quang Tri Province remains impacted with landmines and other unexploded ordance (UXO)[1]. Since 1975 Quang Tri Province has sustained more than 8,000 casualties from ERW accidents, and 31% of these victims are children.

The province has 34,000 peoples with disabilities and 15,485 victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, including 5,000 children with birth defects.

A coastal province, Quang Tri is highly vulnerable to climate change and has heavily suffered from typhoons, storm surges, flash floods, drought, and saline water intrusion.

[1] Unexploded Ordnance and Landmine Impact Assessment and Technical Survey 2009 by BOMICEN/Vietnam Veterans America Foundation.

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