China is set to ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA).

The agreement will see the region’s largest power continue to provide financial aid, human resources and technical materials for mine clearance work this year. 

CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch said on January 16 that a Chinese government delegation was touring the Peace Museum of Mine Action and had discussed support for the mine action sector with the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC).

He added that following the visit, China was due to ink an MoU with the CMAA on January 19.

Thuch explained that the Chinese side would continue to aid the CMAA throughout 2024. As a close friend, China provides the Kingdom with this kind of assistance every year, most notably through mine clearance training. 

“This aid makes an important contribution to our vital work, which saves Cambodian people’s lives from the danger of explosive remnants of war (ERW) in our territory. China’s support for our work also contributes to poverty reduction, as it allows more agricultural land to be used by our communities,” he said.

He added that the MoU will serve as a key document which confirms the willingness of the Chinese people and government to join Cambodia in clearing its remaining ERWs. In addition to the MoU, China is also expected to transfer equipment such as tents, office equipment and mine clearance tools to the Kingdom.

Thuch noted that since 2015, more than one million people have been saved from the dangers of mines and ERWs. Hundreds of thousands of munitions have been identified and destroyed, and rural poverty has been reduced.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana met with the Chinese delegation on January 15 to discuss the core activities of the demining centre, as well as the results of China’s ongoing aid to eliminate landmines in Cambodia. 

The Chinese government has sponsored demining activities since 2018. Between 2018 and 2023, through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Chinese government had supported three phases of CMAC’s operations, with a total contribution of $14.4 million.

The Chinese aid supported vital mine clearance work in Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Kratie, Stung Treng, Kampong Chhnang and Svay Rieng provinces.