Canada, alongside its partner organisations, is set to continue its support for Cambodia’s mine clearance operations. The pledge also includes assistance to mine victims and their communities through vocational training and job creation.

Ly Thuch, first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), met with Canadian ambassador Ping M. Kitnikone on October 24 to discuss the collaborative efforts on demining efforts in the nation.

“On behalf of the Cambodian government and citizens, I extend my heartfelt thanks to Canada for their unwavering support in the humanitarian sector here, which includes backing for research into minefield data,” Thuch said in a social media post.

According to the CMAA, over the past 30 years, Cambodia has achieved significant milestones in finding and disabling the devices. They underscored the country’s vast expertise in this area, which the nation has shared with numerous countries worldwide affected by explosive remnants of war (ERW).

The CMAA noted that the country has been a regular host for international and regional conferences, workshops and press events dedicated to clearance and victim assistance.

Thuch also met with representatives from the Physical Rehabilitation Centre of Exceed Worldwide (an NGO that supports people with disabilities), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Cambodian Prosthetist and Orthotist Association (KhAPO).

He recognised the crucial role all three organisations have played in providing essential services to disabled individuals, especially victims of ERW. He stated that their contributions have been instrumental in supporting victims, offering them educational opportunities, vocational training and job placements.

“The rescue and rehabilitation of landmine and ERW victims is an extremely important duty. It’s imperative that we closely support the affected individuals and their families... This commitment is enshrined in our national policies, plans and legal frameworks, ensuring every victim has comprehensive government support,” Thuch stated.

“[We] envision a Cambodia where no individual falls victim to landmines post-2025,” he said.

Carson Harte, CEO of Exceed Worldwide, acknowledged the longstanding cooperation with the government, pointing out that they have jointly worked on the rehabilitation and improvement of the life quality of victims and the disabled for nearly a quarter of a century.

“Our aspiration is to enhance the care and support available to landmine and ERW victims in Cambodia, as well as their families and communities,” he said.