The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) and the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) on August 19 signed an agreement regarding the “Victim Assistance Project” with $2 million in funding from South Korea.

ARMAC executive director Prum Suonpraseth and CMAA secretary-general Prum Sophakmonkol signed the agreement in a ceremony presided over by Pengiran Kasmirhan Pengiran Tahir – Brunei’s ambassador to Cambodia who also chairs ARMAC’s steering committee – and CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch.

According to Pengiran Kasmirhan, the project could also be called the “Enhanced Victim Assistance Programme for ASEAN Member States”. It has been generously funded by South Korea through the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF).

He said the project has several objectives, including making the ASEAN political-security community a “united, inclusive and resilient community” and promoting ASEAN Member States’ active participation in peacekeeping and post-conflict peace-building efforts.

The project will also enhance defence cooperation within the ASEAN-Korean plan of action for 2021-2025.

“This project will greatly benefit ASEAN member states affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war that are facing an enormous challenge to address victim assistance in their respective countries.

“I am confident that both ARMAC and CMAA will continue to collaborate together in efforts to address the importance of victim assistance, as well as enhance the role and responsibilities of relevant mine action entities in ASEAN member states,” he said.

CMAA vice-president Thuch said this was the second agreement signed between CMAA and ARMAC, with the first MoU signed in 2018 on general cooperation. He said another goal of this project is to share knowledge on victim assistance between their organisations.

Thuch said demining is just one topic which Cambodia can share their training and knowledge about and other topics include explosive ordnance risk education, information management in mine action and community engagement efforts.