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Demining NGOs laud government’s effort to make Cambodia mine-free by 2025

Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
Deminer clearing landmine in the field. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Demining NGOs have given the thumbs up to the government’s effort to make the Kingdom mine-free by 2025 which were highlighted to the world during an official visit by a Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) delegation to Switzerland last week.

On Monday, the CMAA issued a statement about the trip during which it outlined Cambodia’s National Mine Action Strategic Plan to achieve become mine-free 2025 to the international community and donor countries.

It noted that Australia, Switzerland, the US, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and New Zealand said that they would continue to provide financial support for mine clearing efforts in Cambodia, while other countries who are interested requested for visits to examine the feasibility of supporting the efforts to make Cambodia mine free by 2025.

Halo Trust Program Manager Damian O’Brien said today that he appreciates the government’s effort to achieve the mine-free goal and that his NGO will continue its hard work to help demine the country.

“This is only possible through great support from the Royal Government of Cambodia and generous funding from the UK, US, Germany, Ireland and other smaller donors,” he said. “All Cambodian men and women deminers deserve respect and recognition for their amazing work.”

Mr O’Brien noted that Cambodia needs more deminers and the CMAA is working on this.

“Halo is the largest international NGO working in Cambodia since 1991, employing over 1,100 Cambodian men and women from landmine impacted villages. They have now cleared many of their villages of landmines and UXOs and families can prosper as a result,” he wrote in an email.

A Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) representative said that his NGO is actively involved in drawing up the mine-free action plans and is committed to implementing them.

“What has been presented by the CMAA in Switzerland is the commitment to make Cambodia mine-free by 2025 which is already included in the national-level strategy,” he said. “We took part in discussions and gave our input before the mine-free plans was included in of the Cambodian government’s national strategic plan,”

“We will continue to find more financial support from the Japanese government to support the demining cause in Cambodia,” he added.

Ly Thuch, senior minister and the vice president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, said that he really appreciate the work of the NGOs and the role they play in demining operations.

“The participation of national and international stakeholders is very valuable because the goal to make the country mine-free by 2025 is very important for Cambodia,” he said. “We would like to thank donor countries for their continuing support for our demining efforts.”

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