Ly THUCH, first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), commended the Japan Mine Action Service’s (JMAS) role in reducing dangers and providing land for cultivation. 

Thuch also extended the nation’s condolences to earthquake-stricken Japan, during a meeting with JMAS resident representative Masakazu Karube, at the CMAA headquarters in Phnom Penh on January 9. 

“For over 30 years, the government and people of Japan have been actively involved in humanitarian mine action in Cambodia. JMAS has partnered with us in clearing more than 17sq km of landmines since 2002,” he said. 

He added that JMAS is actively involved in local development efforts in Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Stung Treng provinces. 

“JMAS’s involvement has reduced risks, saved lives, provided arable land, and improved quality of life,” said Thuch.

The CMAA highlighted how mine action tasks across the country not only eliminate dangers but also alleviate poverty. Initially, residents lacked adequate safe land for cultivation, but now, thanks to clearance efforts, several areas boast ample safe land, enhancing livelihoods.

Thuch said these results stemmed from the support of friendly countries, development partners and stakeholders, highlighting Japan as a key partner in mine clearance initiatives. 

“Japan has been a steadfast partner in this sector for over 30 years. On behalf of Prime Minister Hun Manet, I confirm the hosting of the Siem Reap-Angkor Summit on a Mine-Free World in November 2024. Cambodia still requires the support of Japan and other friendly countries, development partners and concerned stakeholders to successfully coordinate the upcoming summit,” Thuch said.

Karube expressed gratitude to the Cambodian government, facilitated by the CMAA, for their close cooperation and support in JMAS’s humanitarian mine action operations in the country. 

“JMAS will stand by Cambodia, supporting mine clearance work until the country achieves its mine-free goal [by 2025],” he stated.

On December 20, JMAS and the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) signed operational and partnership agreements, supporting mine clearance and the development of demined areas in Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district and mine clearance in Stung Treng province. 

The projects provide nearly $500,000 in grant aid for 12 months, spanning from December 19, 2023, to December 18, 2024, as per the CMAA.