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PPCBank aids APOPO UXO clearing to rebuild rural livelihoods in Siem Reap

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A land handover ceremony is held in Siem Reap’s Varin district after UXO had been cleared. Photo supplied

PPCBank aids APOPO UXO clearing to rebuild rural livelihoods in Siem Reap

Making remote parts of Siem Reap province landmine-free to allow farming communities to return to work the land, with children growing up in a safe environment, remains a top priority of PPCBank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

Supporting the APOPO demining project is aimed at bringing socio-economic progress to thousands of families in remote provinces who are still exposed to the remnants of landmines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) left behind after decades of conflict.

PPCBank has been funding demining organisation APOPO’s “HeroRATs”, which detect hidden UXO across the Kingdom, including the once tourist-magnet of Siem Reap.

Tourist dollars have dried up in Siem Reap, as the once flourishing tourism sector that supported thousands of jobs wilted under the Covid-19 pandemic with tourists unable to visit the province.

“People have lost their sources of income. Families that used to rely on income from the tourism sector have turned to farming to make ends meet.

“However, many are unable to do so because of landmines and other unexploded ordnance on their land,” said PPCBank CEO Baek Jongil.

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PPCBank’s CSR objectives focus heavily on community development. SUPPLIED

Siem Reap is just one province in the Kingdom plagued by the legacy of landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).

APOPO has partnered with the Cambodian Mine Action Centre since 2014 to carry out landmine and UXO clearance in the Kingdom – safely deactivating and destroying 17,718 landmines and unexploded bombs.

It has returned more than 23 square kilometres of mine-free land to locals.

In order to further this transformative social commitment, PPCBank is conducting a fundraising campaign with its clients by matching their contributions dollar for dollar.

“We are matching 100 per cent of the received donations from of our clients. Siem Reap has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

“The tourism industry that relies heavily on tourist arrivals has all but vanished.

“Together, we can keep this life-changing work going for the communities of Siem Reap province. Every dollar really does count and goes directly to APOPO, whether it’s paying the HeroRATs food and vet bills, or helping to clear land through demining operations, every donation our clients make, however small, makes a big difference,” said Baek.

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With the help of APOPO, the Phnom Penh-based South Korean bank, which was established in September 2008, returned 2.4 hectares of land to 11 families in Siem Reap this February.

With their 12 HeroRATs and their 15 handlers, a total of one anti-vehicle mine, seven anti-personnel mines and nine other types of UXO – including grenades, rockets and mortar bombs – were detected and safely removed from the province.

“The work marked a significant highlight for PPCBank in 2020 as we continue to support this life-changing project,” the bank said.

Team up with PPCBank today and help remove the deadly threat of landmines and explosives from the life another Cambodian.

To donate, simply open the PPCBank Mobile App and scan the QR code or key in the account number.

If you don’t have a PPCBank Mobile App, you can transfer directly through Bakong to “CSR APOPO Fundraising account” of PPCBank.

And remember, every amount, no matter how small, makes a huge difference, and all donations will be matched dollar for dollar.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Some of the UXO that has been unearthed by HeroRats demining experts in Siem Reap. SUPPLIED

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Some of the UXO that has been unearthed by HeroRats demining experts in Siem Reap. SUPPLIED

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A real life landmine detection operation in progress. SUPPLIED

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