China has provided a grant of $2.5 million to support the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) ordnance clearance operations. The funds will cover operations for the 12 months of 2022, according to CMAC director general Heng Ratana.
Ratana thanked Prime Minister Hun Sen for requesting support from the Chinese government, which responded with the grant, he said on July 20.
“On behalf of CMAC, as well as mine victims, we would like to thank the Chinese people and government for these vital humanitarian funds to support CMAC’s mine and remnants of war clearance operations that will bring about security and development in Cambodia,” he said.
He noted that the aid would support demining activities in the 6th Mine Action Unit in Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey and Stung Treng provinces and the 4th Mine Action Unit in Siem Reap and Kampong Thom provinces. These two units currently have nearly 300 personnel.
He said the project will cover clearance of more than 1,700ha of land and awareness raising campaign about the risks of mines in seven provinces.
In the first six months of this year, China has granted aid to Cambodia under the China-Aided Cambodia Landmine Elimination Project. CMAC has cleared ordnance from nearly 1083ha of land. More than 5,000 landmines and other explosives had been detected and destroyed.
On January 19, the Chinese government, through its embassy in Cambodia, also provided humanitarian assistance of approximately $1 million for mine clearance operations to the Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA).
According to CMAA, as of June, 2,221 sq km of land have been cleared of mines and other explosives. More than 1.1 million anti-personnel mines, 25,603 anti-tank mines and more than 2.9 million explosive remnants of war were detected and destroyed. Over 3.3 million families have benefited.
Cambodia is committed to the National Mine Action Strategy for the nation to be mine free by 2025.