The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and the Cambodian Garment Training Institute (CGTI) of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) signed a partnership agreement on December 15 to strengthen the capacity of officials in mine-contaminated areas in order to promote socio-economic development.
CMAA First Vice-President Ly Thuch told reporters at the signing ceremony that CGTI is a highly specialised entity that contributed to building the private sector, especially the nation’s garment industry.
“Today is an important day for us to open a new chapter in demining work with the full support of GMAC president Van Sou Ieng, one of the outstanding Cambodians who have contributed to the work of poverty reduction in Cambodia,” Thuch said.
He continued that the demining work of the past 20 years has accomplished many achievements with more than 2,000sq km of landmines cleared, allowing people to re-plant rice on the land.
Thuch said very few private sector partners have joined Cambodia in its demining work previously and this makes the agreement with CGTI a major development.
Sou Ieng said he was pleased to sign the partnership agreement with CMAA, which carried out mine action missions and rescued mine victims while educating the public about the risks of landmines.
“In view of this, we were honoured to join CMAA and contribute in a small way to the future success of CMAA in achieving its 2025 [mine-free] vision,” he said, adding that he had previously been unaware of how demining actions had contributed to the country’s development on such a large scale.
Sou Ieng spoke of the hardships that people suffered from the war and the tragic fact that they are still suffering from the remnants of war today in preventable accidents involving landmines and explosives.
He called on other businessmen in the private sector to get a better understanding of the importance of demining and achieving the goal of a mine-free Cambodia by 2025 by contributing their resources to assist CMAA and the Cambodian Mine Action Centre.