The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) on January 12 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on mine action capacity development worth $172,791.

The signing ceremony, held at CMAA headquarters, was presided over by NPA country director Rune Dale-Andresen and CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch.

“The signing demonstrates NPA’s financial and technical support to CMAA, and CMAA’s commitment to using that financial support responsibly and with full accountability.

“I strongly believe we will be able to use the funds to effectively address our current needs and, in particular, strengthen key capacity in quality management and information management,” Thuch said.

He expressed his strong appreciation for NPA’s commitment to working towards a Cambodia free of landmines by 2025, a key objective of the government recently reaffirmed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The funds would be used to support CMAA’s knowledge management to enhance its capacity to manage South-South Cooperation and other activities related to the acquiring and sharing of knowledge on mine action, he added.

CMAA is supported on sustainable capacity by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and other key actors to address residual risks.

These include the development of residual risk strategies and analysis of national capacity needs to address residual risks, and the support of other cross-cutting priorities such as environment management and gender mainstreaming in mine action.

While Thuch expressed strong confidence that the goal of a mine-free Cambodia 2025 would be achieved, he said the continued strengthening and maintaining of CMAA’s capacity was crucial, calling on NPA to support CMAA beyond that historic milestone.

“The next objective after making Cambodia mine-free by 2025 is to continue to address the remaining risks of explosive remnants of war.

“This includes the contamination by cluster munition remnants that continues to impact the lives of Cambodian people and impede the development of the Kingdom.

“I call on NPA as well as the international community and friends to continue their commitment and to stand with Cambodia to address these remaining threats,” Thuch said.

NPA has been a long-term partner of CMAA since 2014, helping ensure strong capacity and effective coordination in Cambodia’s mine action sector.