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PM: 600 Square Kilometers of Land Left to Clear for Cambodia to Become Mine-Free by 2025

PHNOM PENH: On the 24th anniversary of National Mine Awareness Day on Friday, 24 February 2023, Prime Minister Hun Sen has remarked that Cambodia still needs to clear around 648 square kilometers of landmines and one unexploded ordnance in order to be mine-free by 2025. He also shared that an additional 327 square kilometers of land have just been cleared, according to plan.

The Prime Minister said that in the 30 years that have passed since 1992, 2,554 square kilometers of land have been cleared for use and cultivation, of which 71% are now used for agriculture, 7% for infrastructure development and 22% in other sectors, benefiting more than 10 million people.

As of 2022, more than 1.1 million anti-personnel mines, 26,000 anti-tank mines and more than 3 million unexploded ordnance have been destroyed.

The Cambodian Government previously launched the project, "Providing Safe Land, Creating Smiles", and was met with the enthusiastic participation of many citizens and donors. Meanwhile, the Royal Government also established the "Cambodia Mine Action Fund 2025" with a budget of US $30 million per year, intended for landmine clearing and providing safe land to citizens.

To achieve the goal of becoming a mine-free country by 2025, the Prime Minister has requested donors and development partners to continue supporting activities related to the demining of cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war, education and awareness raising on demining, and the reduction of mine-related accidents and relief provided to persons with disabilities and landmine survivors.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has informed the Mine Authority, relevant ministries, institutions, donor countries and development partners to continue researching innovative ways to mobilize resources, and especially to promote the participation of the private sector.

In order to achieve the goal of becoming a mine-free country by 2025, the Prime Minister has urged people to be very careful and to not touch, burn, or throw any found unexploded ordnance, because it can be a threat to life. He has urged people to report any found unexploded ordnance to the competent authorities instead. At the same time, the Prime Minister has also advised people not to use land or enter areas that are not well known or which are suspected to have mines.

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