Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Govt boosts funds for landmine victims

The federal government has boosted funding for the physical rehabilitation of landmine victims in Vietnam.
The $1.5 million dollar contribution over three years will help support amputees and provide prostheses for newly identified victims.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Greg Hunt said the program had already helped thousands of survivors who might otherwise have been left destitute.
"Since 1995, the fund has assisted more than 15,000 amputees in Vietnam, or almost one-fifth of amputees in the country," he said in a statement.
"In 2006 alone, about 3,000 newly identified amputees were fitted with new prostheses and were supported through rehabilitation offered by the fund."
Mr Hunt said the poor were particularly vulnerable to being injured by landmines.
"They are more likely to be handling mines and unexploded ordnance as a source of scrap metal from which to earn a living," he said.
"Landmines and unexploded ordnance continue to pose a serious threat to development in Vietnam, particularly in rural areas where they are most prevalent."
The funding will also help the Vietnam government provide training to enable the production of high quality prosthetics and orthotics.
The boost is part of the federal government's $75 million commitment for mine action globally from 2005-2010.
© 2007 AAP

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