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

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • NagaWorld protest part of ‘conspiracy’

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court and police held a joint-press conference on January 4 to clarify details concerning the arrest of nine former employees of the integrated resort NagaWorld and the charges brought against them, saying that the authorities had clear grounds for taking legal action.