Mine clearing in Cambodia began in 1992. To date, 2300 sq kms of land have been cleared of mines and explosive remnants of war. 2000 sq kms remains to be cleared. The current goal is to clear 800 sq km of known mine contaminated areas by 2025 under the Ottawa Convention. Exacerbating the progress, “significant reductions in the baseline of mined area, through land release operations, are being largely offset by large quantities of newly discovered suspected mined areas being added to the database”, according to the Mine Action Review. To wit, 118 new km2 of land contaminated with anti-personnel mines was discovered in 2018, 7.4 new km2 in 2019 and 74.8 new km2 in 2020.
Limited critical resources, inefficient procedures (non vs. technical surveys) and imprecise designations (SHAs vs. CHAs) of contaminated land limit the pace of clearing to a maximum rate of 240 sq km per year set in 2018-2019. This pace can only increase with improved precision in resource mobilization to expand the use of non-technical surveys, the integration of new technology into the clearing process and an increase in more clearing personnel. Currently an estimated 44-65 people are killed annually by unexploded mines.
This initiative will contract two experts – this position as well as a Public Finance Expert – to work closely with the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) to explore new resource mobilization options that will provide sufficient resources to achieve their mine clearing goal by 2025. CMAA is the government authority responsible for mine action and clearing management across Cambodia.