On 10 January 2023, Norwegian People’s Aid in Vietnam was honored to receive a visit from His Excellency Mr. Marc E. Knapper, the United States of America Ambassador in Vietnam. The visit also included a delegation of American war veterans and other USA embassy staff, all traveling to visit NPA in A Luoi district, Thua Thien Hue province.
Mr. Knapper and his delegation first visited the foot of A Bia hill (better known as the Hamburger hill), where NPA Vietnams Country Director, Mr. Jan Erik Støa shared information on the work done in 2022 by NPA in A Luoi district, with the fund provided from the US PM/WRA. This was followed by a brief from NPA Hue Provincial Program Manager, Ms. Do Thanh Nhan on the Explosive Ordnance Disposal work result NPA has conducted on Hamburger hill to date. “A Bia hill used to be a place of destruction, but today we are here as partners and friends. We often hear a saying "closing the past and looking forward to the future" when talking about the relationship between the two countries”, said the Ambassador.
The delegation was in addition attending the closing and handover ceremony of NPA and VNMAC clearance projects in A Luoi district, held at the A Luoi People’s Committee’s meeting hall. This included the hand-over of project equipment to VNMAC. The ceremony had participation from the Thua Thien Hue Provincial People’s Committee and other important local authorities at the province and district level. At witness of the U.S Ambassador and the Vice Chairman of the province, NPA Country Director and VNMAC Vice Director signed the hand-over agreement of the project equipment with the total value of USD 50,000. This was including one Ford Ranger car and number of large loop and hand-held metal detectors. “With this equipment, I believe VNMAC team will continue this important mine action work” said the NPA Country Director.
All participants from Hue province and district, including VNMAC and NPA, expressed the sincere thanks to the US Government for funding the mine action work in A Luoi district and hope for the continuity in the coming years.
Thanks to the governments of the United States for supporting this important work, saving lives, and making it possible to safely continue projects in Thua Thien Hue province.