Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom ‘needs $406M to be mine-free by 2025’

Kingdom ‘needs $406M to be mine-free by 2025’

Members of Cambodian Mine Action Center search for mines using a metal detector on the K5 mine belt in Battambang province. Cambodia says it needs $403 million in order to clear the land of explosive remnants of war by 2025.
Members of Cambodian Mine Action Center search for mines using a metal detector on the K5 mine belt in Battambang province. Cambodia says it needs $403 million in order to clear the land of explosive remnants of war by 2025. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom ‘needs $406M to be mine-free by 2025’

Cambodia reiterated on Wednesday, International Mine Awareness Day, that it needs $406 million to be mine-free by 2025.

According to the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), of which Prime Minister Hun Sen is the president, Cambodia needs the millions to clear nearly 2,000 square kilometres of land known to be blighted by landmines and remnants of war, in a bid to make Cambodia “mine-free” by 2025.

Cambodia had previously told China the amount needed to clear the country of mines, which China said it would consider. The Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh did not respond to a request for comment.

CMAA’s first vice president, Ly Thuch, said the funding gap included $194 million for clearing landmines, $121 million for cluster munitions and another $39 million for explosive war remnants. Another $52 million will be required for management of the sector, as well as $600,000 for a baseline survey.

Thuch said he was “optimistic” about reaching those goals. “If we have enough financial resources and human resources, then we can meet our goal.”

A report from Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining in 2016 – before the formulation of the new 2018-2025 action plan – found that Cambodia’s demining efforts were not on track to meet the deadline.

Cambodia was hit by a heavy US bombing campaign during the Vietnam War. Following the Khmer Rouge regime, an explosive belt of landmines was laid by the Vietnamese-backed government as part of the K5 project in a bid to cut off Khmer Rouge guerrilla infiltration during the 1980s.

Norwegian People’s Aid Country Director Aksel Steen-Nilsen said not all of the $406 million is for clearing.

“From NPA perspective we would encourage Cambodian government to step up its monetary contribution towards the clearance of landmines towards 2025 to show its commitment towards reaching this goal,” he said in a message, adding NPA would assist with demining.

“All the goals are based on estimates, so very difficult to predict if they can achieve a mine-free Cambodia by 2025. Donor fatigue will of course also play in and influence on achieving the target.”

CMAA said that between 1992 and 2017, 1,680 square kilometres had been cleared, involving over 1 million anti-personnel mines, more than 24,600 anti-tank mines, and more than 2.7 million other explosive remnants of war. The number of casualties from exploding ordnance had also dropped from 4,320 in 1996 to 58 in 2017.

MOST VIEWED

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Cotton club growing in Battambang

    The global market for “vegan leather” – materials that act as alternatives to traditional leather that can be synthesised from cork, apple peels, cactus, recycled plastic, grape pomace and pineapple leaves, among other things, and supposedly require no chemicals or water to produce – is expected to