Phnom Penh (FN), June 11 - Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) convened a meeting of joint technical working group of mine actions (TWG-MA) on Tuesday at Sokha Hotel Phnom Penh.

The meeting was attended by 80 representatives of donor countries, the concerned ministries, and embassies, and national and international demining operators.

The meeting, presided over by first vice-president of the CMAA Ly Thuch, was held to collect additional resources for achieving the National Mine Action Strategy 2018-2025 and disseminate progress reports on mine sector, including challenges and solutions.

According to Ly Thuch, Cambodia's donors and partners stand ready to support the government and CMAA to achieve this historical goal – to become mine-free by 2025.

The Royal Government of Cambodia, led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, decided to allocate 10 percent of the total aids from the government partners and donors on mine action projects.

“Assisting mine action sector is the government's effort to reduce rural poverty,” said senior minister Ly Thuch.

Hun Manit, board member and adviser of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), said that without dedication of the deminers, Cambodia would not be as developed as she is today.

Due to Cambodia's recent efforts in the last decades, the accidents resulted from mine and unexploded ordnances have dropped remarkably. Landmine casualties in Cambodia from 2000-2005 accounted for over 800 accidents per year, fell short to 100 accidents per year in 2016-2018. Despite the dramatic drop in rates, this figure is still higher compared to countries of mine issues. Some victims suffered mines in their farmland. They had no choices but to continue farming to support their livelihoods even though the land has yet cleared.

Manit urged international partners to continue demining aids for Cambodia in response to the needs of Cambodian people.