Gates Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies Award $5.4 Million to Vietnamese Government for Dioxin Research

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies have awarded grants totaling almost $5.4 million to support construction of a dioxin laboratory for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Vietnam, VietnamNet Bridge reports.

The lab will work to address the damage that dioxin and Agent Orange caused to the country and its people. An estimated 4.8 million people were exposed to the toxic chemical between 1961 and 1971 as a result of the U.S. military spraying the defoliants onto battlefields, with roughly three million directly affected by the chemical.

"Vietnam hopes that the U.S. government will further cooperate," said MoNRE deputy minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong, "and help us to treat the polluted hotspots and provide aid for the victims of Agent Orange."

"American NGOs Donate $5.4 Million for Dioxin Lab." Vietnam Net Bridge 05/19/2009.