The Chinese government on January 19 provided around $1 million worth of equipments for mine action in Cambodia. The aid came as Cambodia launched the National Mine Action Strategy 2018-2025.
Ly Thuch, first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), and Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian presided over the handover ceremony.
According to a press release, the mine-related equipments include eight pick-up vehicles, 130 demining detectors, 100 demining toolkits, 20 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) toolkits, 10 personal protective equipment, four unmanned aerial vehicles, 500 sets of uniforms, hats and boots, as well as 500 tents.
On behalf of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is also CMAA president, Thuch expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Chinese government and people for the equipment which would contribute to the success of the National Mine Action Strategy 2018-2025.
“Cambodia still needs humanitarian assistance from our great friend China for demining,” he said.
Thuch said with the assistance from China, the Cambodian government strongly believes that the country will be successful in reaching the goal of a mine-free country by 2025.
He said the implementation of the national strategy will save lives, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.
Wang said at the ceremony that China was pleased to work with the CMAA to support Cambodia’s demining efforts. China would continue to provide equipment, financial support and human resource training to the CMAA.
“Demining is very important to support development and save lives. Our embassy will urge the government to continue in supporting and considering requests from the CMAA,” he said.
According to the CMAA, there is support from other donors for demining activities, including UNDP, UNICEF, the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, civil society organisations and generous Cambodians.
From 1992 to December 2020, Cambodia demined 2,138sq km of minefields, destroyed more than one million anti-personnel mines, over 250,000 anti-tank mines and explosive remnants of war including more than 2.8 million cluster bombs. As a result, more than six million people have benefited from these demining activities.
The CMAA said although Cambodia has achieved good results, the country still faces huge challenges where 2,152sq km of land has been identified for demining checks, of which experts have detected landmines on 835sq km.