Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CMAC budget $2M short

CMAC budget $2M short

CMAC Director General Heng Ratana (centre right) meets US officials last December. The demining body was currently facing a $2 million shortfall in its 2018 budget Ratana said on Sunday. Facebook
CMAC Director General Heng Ratana (centre right) meets US officials last December. The demining body was currently facing a $2 million shortfall in its 2018 budget Ratana said on Sunday. Facebook

CMAC budget $2M short

Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) Director General Heng Ratana on Sunday said the demining body was currently facing a roughly $2 million deficit in its $18 million budget for 2018, which is meant to go towards clearing some 120 square kilometres of mine-contaminated land.

Ratana, who heads CMAC, said that the lack of budget could force the group to rethink its demining and ordnance clearing activities, but was hopeful that funding could be sought later in the year to plug the deficit.

“Sometimes, early in the year, we cannot find [funding], but towards the end of the year they can decide to give us funding when their fiscal year begins,” he said. “Like the US, they could provide the funding for our planned work [later].”

The United States pulled its annual $2 million in funding from the demining group last year as officials ramped up anti-US rhetoric amid a government crackdown on the opposition, independent media and civil society groups.

Ratana himself has also been a staunch critic of the US’s handling of its wartime legacy in Cambodia, often taking to Facebook to criticise the superpower.

The US Embassy in Phnom Penh at the time said the $2 million would go to a “world-class removal program” through an open bid process, which Ratana said CMAC would be part of.

China, which has exerted a growing influence over the Kingdom, also pledged to prioritise demining and unexploded ordnance clearance, though details are yet to emerge on this funding.

Ratana said that if the budget deficit could not be met then the body will reassess its demining activities to focus on priority areas in the country.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on