Nonmilitary Aid to Vietnam
Various nations have provided military and nonmilitary assistance since the government of Vietnam launched an appeal for aid on 14 July 1964. By 1969 five Asian and Pacific countries -Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Thailand- had approximately 68,000 troops on the ground. Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the Netherlands set up large continuing programs of economic, humanitarian, and technical assistance, either under the Columbo Plan or as a result of bilateral arrangements. Several other countries made smaller continuing contributions, while many others sent relief or commodity aid at varying times after 1964. All told thirty-nine nations besides the United States helped Vietnam under the Free World assistance program. The following is a list of these nations.
|Republic of China|
|Republic of Korea|
|Federal Republic of Germany|
Australia provided a wide and substantial range of aid to Vietnam under the Columbo Plan and by direct bilateral assistance in addition to its military aid of approximately 7,000 combat troops.
Economic and technical assistance after 1964 totaled more than $10.5 million. Australia provided three surgical teams-forty-two people; a group of civil engineers to work on water supply and road construction projects; and three experts in dairy and crop practices and radio techniques. The Australian government trained 130 Vietnamese in Australia; furnished 1,500,000 textbooks in Vietnamese for rural schools; and provided 3,300 tons of corrugated roofing for Vietnamese military dependent housing, six large community windmills, 15,750 sets of hand tools, 400 radio sets and 2,400 loudspeakers, 16,000 blankets, 14,000 cases of condensed milk, and a 50-kilowatt broadcasting station at Ban Me Thuot. In addition, approximately $650,000 in emergency assistance was provided during 1968; included were construction materials, foodstuffs, and vaccines.
Republic of China
The Republic of China provided an 80-man agricultural team, an 18-man military psychological warfare team, a 34-man electrical power mission, and a 16-man surgical team.
China financed the training of 40 Vietnamese power engineers and technicians and also provided training for more than 200 Vietnamese in Taiwan. In the way of goods and materials, it provided 26 aluminum prefabricated warehouses, agricultural tools, seeds and fertilizers, cement, medical supplies, 500,000 mathematics textbooks, and an electrical power substation. China also donated 5,000 tons of rice worth more than $1 million. There were private gifts as well.
Partly in response to a request from the Vietnam government but chiefly through reparations, Japan provided over $55 mil-
lion worth of economic assistance to Vietnam. Japan sent two medical teams, considerable amounts of medical goods, 20,000 transistor radios, and 25 ambulances. In addition, Japan provided technicians and funds for the construction of a large power dam across the Da Nhim River, an electrical transmission line, and scholarships for students and technicians, and constructed a neurological ward in Saigon.
Republic of Korea
Korean military personnel constituted the majority of allied forces other than U.S. forces in South Vietnam. Korean military medical personnel provided some medical care to the local population in areas where Korean troops were stationed. In addition, seven civilian medical teams-118 doctors, nurses, and support personnel-worked in provincial health programs. Korea also donated more than $50,000 worth of relief supplies.
Laos contributed $4,167 for flood relief in 1965 and a small cash donation for refugees in 1966. An additional $5,000 in relief supplies was provided in 1968.
Beginning in 1964 Malaysia trained nearly 2,900 Vietnamese military and police officers. Groups of thirty to sixty men were regularly sent to Malaysia for about a month's training in counterinsurgency operations with the Malaysian Police Special Constabulary. Malaysia also provided some counterinsurgency equipment, primarily military and police transport vehicles, and medicines and relief supplies.
In early 1967 Malaysia received and accepted a formal invitation to send four experts on rural settlement and pacification to South Vietnam. The team was to make recommendations concerning hamlet security and psychological warfare. The Vietnamese did not feel that the team was very effective. At the close of 1967 there was some talk of a Malaysian proposal to increase the training staff and double the size of the training effort at the police school. While appreciative of the offer, police officials in Saigon pointed out that so many police had already been trained in Malaysia and the Philippines that there was little need for large expansion of the program.
In nonmilitary aid, New Zealand assistance averaged $347,500 annually. Civilian aid expenditures in 1969 were 48,000 New Zealand dollars, which financed a 15-man surgical team at Qui Nhon, scholarships for 80 Vietnamese in New Zealand, medical and teaching equipment for Hue University, equipment for a technical high school, and a contribution toward the construction of a science building at the University of Saigon. In early 1968 the government of New Zealand donated $20,000 in food and other supplies.
Pakistan contributed financial assistance and clothing for flood victims.
The Philippine government provided a 1,500-man military engineering unit with its own security support, a station hospital, and rural health and civic action teams. The bulk of this force was withdrawn in 1969. A 12-man medical team was financed, and clothing, food, and medical supplies were donated. The Philippine government donated $28,00 worth of supplies as well.
In nonmilitary aid, Thailand supplied rice for refugees, cement, and corrugated iron roofing materials. In early 1968 Thailand donated $242,170 in building materials and vaccines.
Iran extended significant assistance to the Republic of Vietnam. Shortly after President Johnson's appeal, Iran promised petroleum products, and one thousand tons of gasoline were delivered in July of 1965. Beginning on 12 January 1966, Iran maintained in Vietnam a medical team of high quality-some twenty doctors and medical technicians, and nurses from the Red Lion and Sun Society, which is roughly equivalent to a National Red Crescent or Red Cross organization.
Israel donated pharmaceutical supplies for flood victims and trained three Vietnamese in irrigation techniques.
Turkey provided medicines and in early 1968 supplied a quantity of vaccines. Turkey also offered to give a substantial amount of cement.
Liberia made a gift of $50,000 for the purchase of medical supplies and hospital equipment.
Morocco contributed 10,000 cans of sardines worth $2,000.
The South African government contributed approximately $14,000 worth of medical supplies to Vietnam.
Tunisia made available fifteen to twenty scholarships for Vietnamese students.
Belgium provided medicines and an ambulance, and granted scholarships for fifteen Vietnamese to study in Belgium.
Denmark provided medical supplies and offered to train twelve Vietnamese nurses in Denmark.
Federal Republic of Germany
German economic and humanitarian aid, beginning in 1966, averaged about $7.5 million annually and more than 200 technical and medical personnel served in Vietnam. In 1966 the Feder-
al Republic of Germany also contributed the 3,000-ton hospital ship S.S. Helgoland to provide medical assistance to the civilian population. With eight doctors, thirty other medical personnel, and a 130-bed capacity, the ship was initially stationed near Saigon where more than 21,000 out-patient treatments were given to approximately 6,700 patients from September 1966 until 30 June 1967. Over 850 major surgical cases were also treated. In October of 1967 the Helgoland shifted its operations to Da Nang.
In March 1967 the German government's Maltese Aid Service team for the care of refugees was increased from twenty-five to forty-seven-six doctors, two dentists, and thirty-nine nurses and vocational teachers. Operating from sites in An Hoa, Da Nang, and Hoi An, teams provided regular health and refugee care. Other Germans serving in Vietnam taught in the Technical High School at Thu Duc near Saigon and five professors served on the Hue University faculty. Twenty Vietnamese were trained in Germany to replace the seven Germans at the Technical High School, and scholarships at German schools were granted to seven Vietnamese students each year.
The German government supplied credits of $21.2 million for capital projects and commodity imports. It also provided the following credits: $3.'75 million for the import of German products such as machine tools and fertilizer; $12.5 million for development of the industrial complex at An Hoa-Nong Son; $5 million for capital projects; and $3.5 million to equip a modern slaughterhouse and provide technical aid.
Other assistance included the construction and staffing, with German aid funds, of nine social centers in Saigon a training center for experts in the social field, and a home for juvenile delinquents at Thu Duc.
Substantial quantities of pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies and equipment were donated for distribution to civilian hospitals and dispensaries and 100,000 health textbooks were provided. Germany constructed a 170-bed hospital at a cost of $2.5 million in Da Nang as a replacement for the Helgoland.
Beginning in 1956 France contributed approximately $155 million in assistance to South Vietnam. Aid averaged about $4 million per year, largely in the cultural field.
Most of the French in Vietnam were engaged in some form of cultural work; some taught in secondary schools and a few were professors on university staffs. France provided fifty-five
fellowships for technical training and eighty-five academic fellowships for schooling in France in 1965; afterward the program continued but at a slightly reduced scale.
France also provided low-interest credits of 100 million francs ($20 million) for financing imports of French equipment for Vietnamese industry and a grant of 500,000 francs ($100,000) for equipment for L'Ecole Nationale d'Ingenieurs des Arts Industriels. In 1960 a low-interest credit of 70 million francs ($14 million) was made to aid construction of the major coal and chemical complex under way at An Hoa-Nong Son, south of Da Nang. A low-interest, five-year credit of 60 million francs ($12 million) was also provided for construction of Vietnam's largest cement-producing complex, with plants at Ha Tien and Thu Duc. In 1964 France made a 930,000-franc ($186,000) grant for the installation of a training center for electrical technicians and in 1965 a gift of 1.25 million francs ($250,000) for teaching equipment, primarily in the medical field.
Greece contributed $15,000 worth of medical supplies.
Ireland contributed $2,800 to Vietnam through the Red Cross.
The Italians provided a ten-man surgical team and offered science scholarships to ten Vietnamese to study in Italy. They also gave relief commodities worth about $29,000, including some private donations.
This country provided plasma and blood transfusion equipment.
The Netherlands aid program, which began in 1965, financed scholarships for Vietnamese doctors, the construction and equipping of three tuberculosis centers, and the renovation and expansion of hospital facilities in Cho Lon. The government also earmarked $1 million in trust for United Nations projects in Vietnam. In October 1968 the Netherlands announced a $186,000 grant to UNICEF for relief projects in Vietnam.
Norway sent a contribution through the International Red Cross for flood victims in February 1965. Norway also contributed money in early 1968 for the homeless Tet refugees in South Vietnam.
In December 1965 the government of Spain announced that as a result of a request by the government of Vietnam, it would provide a medical mission of twelve to fourteen men to the Republic of Vietnam. Negotiations over support arrangements were made in co-ordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Vietnamese Minister of Health. The major points of this arrangement were that the government of Spain would pay the team's salaries and allowance, plus fifty dollars a month per member for subsistence, and the United States would pay all other costs.
It was decided to locate the team of four doctors, one quartermaster, a captain, and seven nurses in Go Cong Province in the IV Corps Tactical Zone. The team arrived in Vietnam on 8 September and on 10 September it replaced the US Military Provincial Health Assistance Program team at the province hospital in Go Cong.
The Swiss provided microscopes for the University of Saigon, as well as a medical team of eleven men through the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross to work in a provincial hospital in the Central Highlands in April 1966. Another team arrived in Da Nang in late 1967, and a government grant was used to finance the construction of a pediatric wing at the Da Nang hospital. In addition, the Swiss donated $200,000 in emergency supplies.
In 1963 and 1964, the United Kingdom provided the following foods and materials: laboratory equipment for Saigon University; a typesetting machine for the Government Printing Office, a cobalt deep-ray therapy unit for the National Cancer Institute; equipment for the faculties of medicine, science, and pharmacy at Saigon University, the Meteorological Service and the Agricultural School at Saigon, the Atomic Research Establish-
ment at Dalat, and the faculty of education at Hue. A pediatric team of five British doctors and six nurses went to Saigon in August 1966 and remained for five years. The team was later expanded to twenty-six members. From 1968 through 1971 the United Kingdom supplied economic aid valued at $2.4 million. It provided police advisers, teachers, a professor of English at Hue University, and technical experts.
Beginning in 1964, Canada provided more than $9.3 million in development assistance to Vietnam. At Quang Ngai a small tuberculosis clinic was constructed, with two doctors and four nurses to staff the clinic. A Canadian professor of orthopedics worked at the Cho Ray Hospital, Saigon, and a Canadian instructor taught at the University of Hue for two years. In Canada 380 trainees under the Columbo Plan and a total of 483 trainees under all programs received technical training.
Medical assistance constituted the largest portion of Canadian aid to Vietnam. Approximately 560,000 doses of polio vaccine were delivered for inoculation of school children, and Canada offered additional vaccines against polio, tuberculosis, and smallpox.
Starting in 1958, Canada provided $850,000 worth of food; the funds collected by sales of food were used for capital construction projects in Vietnam. The Canadians provided a new science building for the medical school at the University of Hue costing $333,000 and agreed to allocate about $125,000 for the construction of an auditorium at the university. In addition, $1 million was allocated for medical assistance which, in part, funded delivery of ten 200-bed emergency hospital units. Two of these units were located near Saigon.
In 1968 the government sent emergency sup-,,lies worth $200,000, provided eight doctors on short-term assignments, and donated $225,000 for housing Vietnamese left homeless by the Tet offensive.
Canada also printed half a million copies of a social science textbook for grade school children.
Argentina donated 5,000 tons of wheat flour and 20,000 doses of cholera vaccine.
Brazil provided 5,000 sacks of coffee and a substantial quantity of medical supplies.
This country contributed an ambulance for use by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.
A gift of medical supplies was sent to Vietnam.
Approximately 15,000 doses of typhoid-paratyphoid serum were donated.
Honduras contributed medicines and 3,100 pounds of new clothes for Vietnamese refugees. This represented contributions from the people of Honduras to the Red Cross during a campaign in October 1966. It was not until February 1967 that a Honduran Air Force plane completed the mercy flight in what was the first trans-Pacific flight for a Honduran Air Force crew.
A contribution of $21,500 for relief supplies and medicines was donated.
Two civilian doctors were sent to Vietnam, and 500 tons of rice were provided by Venezuela.
page created 18 December 2002
Return to the Table of Contents
Return to CMH Online