Cambodia, India Sign Grant Assistance to Make Three Districts and One Commune Mine Free

Cambodia Mine Action and Victims Assistance Authority (CMAA) and the Embassy of India in Phnom Penh signed an Agreement for a US$426,709 Grant Assistance for making Botum Sakor, Srae Ambel, Thma Bang districts and Trapeang Rung commune in Koh Kong province mine free.

The Agreement was inked in Koh Kong province on Aug. 31 by H.E. Ly Thuch, Senior Minister and First Vice-President of CMAA and H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of India to Cambodia. The event was also graced by H.E. Mrs. Mithona Phouthong, Koh Kong Provincial Governor.

The assistance was announced by the Hon’ble Vice President of India during his visit to Cambodia in November 2022, during a meeting with then Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, according to a press release of the Indian Embassy AKP received this evening.

H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade in her address during the event highlighted the contribution of India to the demining efforts of Cambodia since the UNTAC days. She mentioned that India has been engaging Cambodia in both military and civilian demining. Military demining assistance initiatives include the provision of US$1.5 million grant for demining equipment to the Royal Cambodian Air Forces (RCAF) and 19 sniffer dogs which have been gifted by India.

H.E. Ambassador also mentioned that along with assistance towards demining activities, India is also involved in helping the victims of land mines, and a month-long artificial limb fitment camp in Banteay Meanchey province organised under the India for Humanity Initiative in March 2023 benefited 650 Cambodian nationals.

H.E. Ly Thuch, Senior Minister and First Vice-President of CMAA in his speech appreciated India for its contribution in demining activities in Cambodia to boost the mine clearance work to achieve the country’s goal of becoming a mine-free nation by 2025. He mentioned that India has been assisting in making four villages in Koh Kong province mine free under Quick Impact Project with a grant of US$50,000 and recently conducted an artificial limb fitment camp. He said that CMAA is looking forward to work with the Indian Embassy for the successful implementation of the grant assistance projects in Koh Kong.

For her part, H.E. Mrs. Mithona Phouthong thanked H.E. Ambassador and India for selecting the province for the project and said this project and the Quick Impact Project of clearing four villages mine free will immensely benefit the people in the project areas. She also noted that project will facilitate more agriculture, businesses and tourist inflows in the province.

The event concluded with site visit to the proposed demining area. The project will clear an area of around 1,972,091 sq meters of landmines or 33 mine fields and other pieces of unexploded ordnance benefiting 86,367 people in the area.