The international community will provide $20 million in aid to assist Cambodia with mine and explosive ordnance clearance.
Known as the “Clearing for Result IV Project”, the latest mine-clearing phase is intended to rid the country of mines by 2025. Earlier phases had cleared 245 sq km from 2006 to March.
First vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) Ly Thuch led a board meeting on Tuesday with representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and donor countries.
Attendees included Australia, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica), New Zealand and UNDP.
The meeting was held to examine the progress of the project, strengthening effectiveness with transparency and accountability and establishing plans of action to clear mines in 2021.
The project focused mainly on three outcomes, according to Thuch.
The first focus is on clearing mines and explosive remnants of war to ensure the safety of citizens. The second is to support activities that help disabled persons and educate the public on the dangers of mines, while the third is to strengthen national capacities.
From 1992 to late June, over 2,043sq km of mines had been cleared by national and international operations. The clearance operations destroyed 1,088,677 antipersonnel mines, 25,361 anti-tank mines and 2,858,071 explosive devices.
In the first six months of this year, seven operators had cleared mines on 63sq km and destroyed 7,855 antipersonnel mines, 175 anti-tank mines and 25,440 explosive remnants of war.
The operators were the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), Halo Trust, the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), APOPO – Humanitarian Demining, and Cambodia Self Help Demining (CSHD).
“During the first six months of the year, 38 people were injured by mines and explosive remnants of war. In 2019, 62 people suffered injuries,” Thuch said.
Koica Cambodia country director Rho Hyunjun spoke of his agency’s participation in the mine clearance project and its $10 million contribution.
“The representative of Koica thanks the leader of the CMAA for sending experts to attend training prepared by it to exchange experiences with countries affected by mines and explosive remnants of war,” he said.
Meeting participants also agreed to some main points, according to a press release.
CMAA and UNDP agreed to strengthen the nation’s capacity to continue mine clearance and explosive remnants of war after 2025.
Donor nations supported seven points to allow CMAA to continue its activities to streamline project effectiveness starting from 2021. Donor nations supported a joint visit to inspect mine clearance and interview those who benefitted from cleared land.