Cambodian King, Queen Mother Donate 1.5 Million USD To Gov’t For Mine Clearance Work

– Cambodian King, Norodom Sihamoni, and his mother, former Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, donated a total of 1.5 million U.S. dollars to support the government’s mine clearance activity.

In two separate letters to Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, dated Saturday, and released to the media yesterday, King Sihamoni and Queen Mother Monineath, decided to donate 500,000 dollars and one million dollars, respectively, to the “Samdech Techo Project for Mine Action.”

“I would like to add to the government’s efforts by donating 500,000 U.S. dollars to help deal with the landmine issue in Cambodia,” the king wrote in a letter.

In another letter, Queen Mother Monineath wrote she contributed one million dollars to support the government’s efforts to address the landmine issue in the kingdom.

Prime Minister Hun Sen established the “Samdech Techo Project for Mine Action” fundraising drive, on Jul 4. So far, the campaign has raised more than 20 million dollars from local donors, according to the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authorities (CMAA).

Cambodia is one of the countries worst affected by mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). An estimated four million to six million landmines and other munitions have been left over from three decades of war and internal conflicts that ended in 1998.

According to Yale University, between 1965 and 1973, the United States dropped some 230,516 bombs on 113,716 sites in Cambodia.

CMAA’s first vice president, Ly Thuch said, from 1992 to date, the country had cleared 2,410 square km of landmine/ERW contaminated land, destroying over 1.1 million anti-personal mines, more than 26,000 anti-tank mines and almost three million ERWs.

However, the country still needs to clear the remaining 716 square km of land contaminated by mines and ERWs, he added.

Thuch said, throughout Cambodia, around one million people still live in fear and work in areas contaminated by mines and ERWs, and that the kingdom is committed to getting rid of landmines and ERWs by 2025.

“To achieve this mine-free goal, we need a budget of at least 90 million U.S. dollars,” he said in a press conference early this month.

According to the CMAA, from 1979 to Jun, 2022, landmine and ERW explosions claimed 19,818 lives and either injured or amputated 45,186 others

Source: NAM News Network