The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has committed a further $4.3 million to aid demining activities in Cambodia as part of an extension on the Second Global Mine Action Programme (GMAP2).
The amount will be the second instalment of funding from the GMAP2 initiative, which is due to fund operations from April this year to March 2021. GMAP2 was initially launched in July 2018, after the original GMAP ended in 2016.
The announcement was made at the UK Ambassador’s residence by Ambassador Tina Redshaw. The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) was also present.
Redshaw said: “Cambodia and the UK have a joint mission to help save lives from landmine casualties in Cambodia.”
CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch said at the event that the UK has been involved in mine clearance since 1992, covering more than 122sq km, and discovering nearly 70,000 landmines and unexploded ordnances.
Thuch requested that the UK continue to assist the government in the implementation of the national mine action strategy 2018-2025 to make Cambodia landmine-free by 2025.
“Mine clearance is a mission that benefits us all. I urge all development partners and relevant parties to continue joining the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen to work hard toward a mine-free Cambodia by 2025.
“The collaboration between development partners, the CMAA and the people means that when we reach our goal, we can all celebrate together. When we work together, a new day will come,” he said.
Thuch said the funds will ensure the UK’s support continues to positively impact lives in the Kingdom.
“It is important that Cambodia is part of this remarkable global programme. It not only allows us to benefit from working towards a mine free country but projects our story and experience internationally.
“It also allows hundreds of Cambodian men and women to do a job they can be proud of. More than 60 UK funded teams are working across this country – at Tboung Khmum in the southeast, to Preach Vihear in the north and along the western border down to Koh Kong. They can all be proud,” he said.
Since the start of GMAP2 in July 2018, Thuch said, thousands of mines have been removed and almost 20sq km have been cleared.
“The project has also strengthened the CMAA’s capacity to regulate, coordinate and manage the Cambodian mine action sector more effectively and efficiently.
“GMAP2 has also enabled innovation in risk education and led to greater inclusion by disabled people,” Thuch said.