New York City, USA (April 4, 2023) — At the United Nations Headquarters on Tuesday afternoon (3:00 pm – 05:45 m EST), Ms. Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh, NPA Vietnam Provincial Program Manager at Project RENEW in Quang Tri Province spoke at the Symposium on Mine Action Cannot Wait organized by the United Nations Mine Action Services.
Held on International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, April 4, the Symposium was aimed at highlighting the impact of decades of unexploded ordnance contamination in countries like Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam, as well as drawing global attention to recent contamination in Myanmar, Ukraine, and Yemen. During the section for South East Asia, Linh together with other speakers including Laotian Ambassador and Cambodian Ambassador to the UN, Vietnam National Mine Action Center General Director, and representatives of Mines Advisory Group and Legacies of War presented about achievements and lessons learned after over two decades of addressing the problem of bombs and mine in a region which was the most affected during the Vietnam War.
“The partnership model in Quang Tri is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when mine action is coordinated, communication is frequent between all stakeholders, data is shared openly, and everyone works toward a common goal,” Linh said while sharing the recommendations that she believed would lead to a more effective and efficient implementation of mine action work.
According to Linh, the support of the Government of Vietnam to mine action as well as that of international donors, including the government of the United States, Norway, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, is critical in allowing her colleagues and herself to continue making people and the land of Quang Tri safe from the impact of bombs and mines. “However, many contaminated provinces in Viet Nam have not yet benefited from such an extensive mine action program as Quang Tri has,” Linh emphasized.
Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh started her work with Project RENEW in 2009 as a field interpreter. She moved up to many positions from Operations Assistant, then Operations Officer, and then Operations Manager for the UXO Survey and Clearance program of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) Vietnam in partnership with Project RENEW. Currently, as NPA Vietnam Provincial Program Manager at Project RENEW, Linh manages nearly 300 local staff members and day-to-day operations of the NPA/RENEW survey and clearance program funded by the U.S. Department of State.
Mr. Jerry Ray, a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of Project RENEW, a non-profit organization headquartered in Virginia, was also present at the Symposium taking place at the UNHQ in New York City. Friends of Project RENEW works closely with Project RENEW to advance its mission in Viet Nam, including inspiring support and increasing public awareness of Project RENEW’s goals and activities.
Project RENEW is the only comprehensive mine action model in Viet Nam integrating UXO survey and clearance, risk education, and victim assistance launched in 2001 thanks to initial funding provided by U.S. veterans. Project RENEW now received funding from the U.S. Department of State via NPA Vietnam for survey and clearance of UXO; the government of Ireland for risk education and victim assistance programs; and other foundations and individuals.