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NPA to ramp up UXO aid

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NPA director Zlatko Vezilic (left) meets with Senior Minister Ly Thuch. cmaa

NPA to ramp up UXO aid

The Norwegian government will provide $5 million over the next five years to Cambodia through its Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) organisation to assist with landmine clearance operations in the country.

Senior Minister Ly Thuch who is also Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) first vice-president said the NPA will release $1 million each year until 2025.

Thuch said: “In addition to Norway, we have the US, Australia, Japan, Germany, Britain, China, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland and several other countries that have assisted in mine clearance activities in Cambodia.”

New Zealand and South Korea will also begin providing mine-clearing assistance in 2021 for the first time. New Zealand has pledged $10 million in aid, according to Thuch.

He said since it started working in Cambodia in 1993, the NPA has spent over $20 million clearing mines and returning land to thousands.

It has also developed human resource skills in its workforce and trained dogs to identify mines – both of which have increased Cambodia’s mine-clearing capacity.

Thuch said the NPA is the first mine-clearing organisation in the world to use dogs to discover mines.

The NPA’s Facebook said it and the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) collaborated to clear a total of 5,651,247m2 of land which had been contaminated with unexploded ordnances (UXOs).

The land was handed back to the communities, directly benefiting 750 people. CMAC and NPA destroyed 3,621 UXOs and 7kg of small arms ammunition during clearance and survey operations, it said.

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