Switzerland supports Cambodia’s mine action sector with US$3.5 million through the Clearing for Results project, implemented by the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and UNDP from 2017 to 2019
Phnom Penh, 13 January 2017
Building on its financial support from 2013 to 2015, the Government of Switzerland has committed an additional US$3.5 million to Cambodia’s demining sector, from 2017 to 2019. The fund will support the Government to maximize mine action results on human development in poor communities in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Pailin, through Phase III of the Clearing for Results project. The project is also supported by the Australia Government.
The Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA) is implementing the project, and the total US$7.24 million dollars in funding, from 2013 to 2019, is being managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Cambodia.
Ms. Rahel Boesch, the Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Mr. Nick Beresford, the Country Director of UNDP Cambodia, signed the agreement. The signing ceremony was chaired and witnessed by H. E. Serei Kosal, Senior Minister and First Vice President of CMAA.
“Switzerland considers Cambodia’s goal to make the country mine-free by 2025 an important step towards the dynamic overall development of the country,” Ms. Boesch said at the signing ceremony. “Switzerland’s support to the mine action sector is in line with the Swiss country programme’s goal to secure access to safe land as a key element for strengthened agricultural activity and improved livelihoods of poor rural farmers.”
In his remarks, H. E. Serei Kosal highlighted that, “The project seeks not only to support the conduct of land release of mine and ERW contaminated area, but also the development of strategies and policies; and the development of performance monitoring systems that link mine action to human development.”
The project is also designed to ensure that institutional measures are in place to strengthen the contribution of the national mine action programme to human development, thereby leading to sustainable and inclusive growth and development.
Between 2011 and 2016, almost 420,000 people, including some 210,000 women and more than 1,000 young students, benefited from the Clearing for Results project. Under the project, more than 20,240 anti-personnel mines, 325 anti-tank mines and 24,550 pieces of unexploded ordnance were destroyed, and 109 million square metres of priority land was cleared and released for agricultural use, residence and infrastructure development. The number of causalities decreased from 145 in 2010 to 33 in 2016.
“We believe that Clearing for Results Phase III: Mine Action for Human Development (2016-2019) will make a further difference to the lives of communities in the most affected provinces of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Pailin,” Mr. Beresford said. “It will further reduce potential casualties and support development activities for the poor and most vulnerable.”