President of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and the First Lady Elke Büdenbender this morning paid a visit to a landmine field operated by the Halo Trust in Puok district, Siem Reap province, following their arrival in the province
The delegation was welcomed by H.E. Ly Thuch, Cambodian Senior Minister, First Vice President of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA).
Speaking to the media after the visit, H.E. Ly Thuch said Germany is one of the main foreign donors for mine and UXO clearance operations in Cambodia.
During the visit, he continued, H.E. Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke highly of Cambodia's commitment to mine and UXO clearance and noted some urgent need for this kind of operation.
“In the past 7 years, Germany has contributed some EUR 17 million to clear 547 landmine fields or 24 square kilometres,” the senior minister said.
About 100,000 local people have benefited from this humanitarian contribution, he said, adding that more than 4,000 anti-personnel mines, 148 anti-tank mines, and over 10,000 explosive remnants of war (ERW) have been removed and destroyed.
At the same time, H.E. Ly Thuch expressed his hope that Germany will continue supporting Cambodia's mine and UXO clearance efforts to reach its goal of a mine-free nation by 2025.
Cambodia has cleared roughly 2,554 square kilometres of landmine and UXO contaminated land in the last 30 years, benefiting more than 9 million people.
From 1992 to 2022, over 1.15 million anti-personnel mines, more than 26,135 anti-tank mines, and 3 million ERW were found and destroyed.
According to CMAA, during the said period, landmines and UXOs killed 19,818 people and either injured or amputated 45,187.
The German President and First Lady are on an official visit in Cambodia from Feb. 14 to 16, at the invitation of Samdech Vibol Sena Pheakdei Say Chhum, Acting Head of State and President of the Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press