A senior official from the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) has hailed historic diplomatic relations between Cambodia and South Korea. He thanked the Korean government for its humanitarian mine action work, saying it had saved human lives and alleviated poverty.

CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch made the remarks as he met with South Korean Ambassador Park Jung-Wook on March 20 to discuss cooperation on mine action in Cambodia.

“South Korea has contributed $10 million to the fourth phase of the Clearing for Results project 2021-2025, which supports demining work in three provinces – Battambang, Pailin and Banteay Meanchey,” he said.

“Their participation has not just saved lives, but has reduced poverty and improved the livelihoods of the local population,” he added.

He noted that the Cambodian government contributes 10 per cent of the annual budget for the Clearing for Results project.

Thuch complimented the close relations between the two countries and their people, while singling out the South Korean government for special praise.

Park Jung-Wook expressed his pleasure at South Korea’s opportunity to cooperate closely with the CMAA.

“We commend the CMAA for playing such an important role in managing and coordinating mine action. Their efforts have produced many remarkable achievements,” he said.

Thuch also praised the Korean grants that added to the Cambodian government’s efforts to address mine-related negative impacts.

“In addition, Korea has participated in rehabilitating mine-disabled persons and supported public education campaigns about the risks associated with unexploded ordnance (UXO),” he said.

The Clearing for Results project began in 2006, and has cleared a total of 322.87sq km. This invaluable demining work has provided direct benefits to more than one million Cambodians, Thuch said.

The CMAA said the fourth phase of the project began in 2021 and would run until 2025, with the financial support of the Cambodian government, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and the UNDP.