Government asks donors for more demining aid

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Donors on a fact-finding mission
Donors on a fact-finding mission. CMAA

Demining officials this week appealed to international donors to continuing funding demining efforts in the Kingdom to reach the government’s 2025 mine-free goal.

On Wednesday, the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority took donor representatives from Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United States and UNDP on a fact-finding mission in Battambang province.

Ly Thuch, a vice president of the CMAA, yesterday said that the representatives visited Kors Kralor district operations.

The visit came after the CMAA held a meeting on Tuesday with representatives from Australia, Switzerland, Canada and the Netherlands.

Mr Thuch said Cambodia needs about $50 million per year for demining operations to achieve the 2025 goal.

“Funding and human resources are our challenges for demining operations,” Mr Thuch said, noting that the Kingdom needs more deminers to achieve the goal because some of them have reached retirement age .

He said about 900 square kilometres remain strewn with anti-personnel and anti-tank landmines in the country.

He noted that the donors evaluated the country’s need for aid in clearing landmines during their visit.

“On behalf of the government, we would like to say thanks to the donors who save Cambodian people from landmines and help them to get land for cultivation,” he said.

Mr Thuch said Cambodia needs about $400 million to support demining operations and that it will ask for more aid from Russia, India, South Korea and some middle-eastern countries.

The UNDP on Wednesday issued a statement saying that the donors and CMAA visited contaminated lands in Battambang province to observe CMAC’s operations.

“They visited post-clearance lands and interacted with affected communities who now benefit from safe communities and improved agricultural opportunities,” it said.

It added that during the visit, community members shared how their lives were altered after the lands were cleared.

According to CMAA report, more than 1,700 square kilometres of land has been cleared since 1992. In 25 years of demining, Cambodia has been cleansed of 1,036,376 anti-personnel mines.

The UNDP said that current and prospective donors were invited to support demining efforts to achieve the goal of a mine-free Cambodia by 2025.

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