Prime Minister Hun Sen on July 4 established the “Samdech Techo Project for Mine Action” (STP-MA) fundraising drive after the huge response following his call for the private sector to join the government in demining efforts.
Ly Thuch, senior minister and first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), said on July 3 that Hun Sen had established STP-MA – with the slogan “Providing Safe Ground, Creating Smiles” – under the leadership, management and coordination of CMAA.
“On behalf of people nationwide and the mine action sector family, I express the deepest gratitude to Samdech Techo Prime Minister for always providing warmth and smiles for the Cambodian people in all places and circumstances,” Thuch said.
With the generous contribution, CMAA convened a series of technical team meetings to detail the demining plans.
Thuch on July 4 led a meeting with the army, the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) and the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC-ERW) to apportion forces and resources to prioritise demining goals.
CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said he was pleased that the prime minister had helped mobilise donors to support the demining effort.
“Hun Sen has salvaged the nation and ended war, and he continues to help the people out of other hardships, especially in continuing since 1979 to end the threat of ERW [explosive remnants of war] and starting humanitarian mine clearance from 1992 until now,” Ratana said.
In Banteay Meanchey province on July 1, Hun Sen called on donors to join the government in helping remove unexploded ordnance (UXO) and make Cambodia mine-free by 2025.
He said it was of the highest importance for the Kingdom to get back on track in meeting the target to finally end the tragedy of landmines in Cambodia.
Government officials and the private sector joined in, with approximately $14 million having been donated as of July 4.
On July 1, Hun Sen issued an order to have the Po Char and Trapeang Thmor communes of Banteay Meanchey province’s Phnom Srok district completely cleared of landmines in 2022.
The CMAC demining unit in Banteay Meanchey will have deployed to the area on July 4, with it estimated to take a month to clear the entire Phnom Srok district from landmines and other ERW.