Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US extends demining support by 2 months

US extends demining support by 2 months

CMAC officials remove a US chemical bomb last month in Svay Rieng’s Koki commune.
CMAC officials remove a US chemical bomb last month in Svay Rieng’s Koki commune. Photo supplied

US extends demining support by 2 months

After saying last week that it will discontinue funding for Cambodia’s mine-clearing body at the end of this year, the US Embassy announced it will provide the Cambodian Mine Action Centre additional funding for the first two months of 2018.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government has committed to providing more than $7 million to demining in the northwest beginning in January, officials said yesterday.

CMAC head Heng Ratana said yesterday the US Embassy had notified him that they would provide $350,000 for January and February – an amount he said would give them some leeway in preparing for US aid cuts.

The US government cut its annual support for CMAC’s demining activity last week amid an escalating war of words between the two governments. For eight years it had provided just over $2 million annually for demining in the east – which it heavily bombed in the late 1960s and 1970s.

“We made this decision to guarantee there is no disruption in these demining activities while the tender for our new project is under way,” US Embassy spokesman David Josar said via email yesterday, referring to a new removal programme whose funding will be open to bids.

Ratana said he had notified Prime Minister Hun Sen, who he said was “encouraged” by the move. Since the decision to suspend the funding, the Cambodian government declared it would take responsibility for supporting CMAC, and China earlier this week pledged funding for demining efforts.

“I hope that [the] continuing [of] support from the United States . . . will reduce some difficulties,” Ratana said.

Meanwhile, Ratana confirmed that CMAC signed two contracts totalling some $7.3 million with the Japan International Cooperation System. One contract for $3.5 million supports some 500 mine-clearance personnel for all of next year in Battambang, while the other $3.7 million provides equipment for minesweepers – materials that are slated to arrive in March.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’