Saturday, 8 November 2008

Japanese-funded clearance enables grassroots development

07 Nov 2008

Source: MAG (Mines Advisory Group)

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Funding from the Japanese Government's Kusanone Assistance programme will support MAG Cambodia's operations for the coming year.

A funding agreement for US$584,764 was signed on October 27th in Phnom Penh. The grant will support six mine clearance teams, one Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team and two Community Liaison Teams.

The teams will operate in Battambang, Preah Vihear, Banteay Meanchey and Pailin provinces, where there are still a large number of casualties from landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) every year. The high level of contamination in these provinces also contributes to poverty by denying access to land.

"This funding, intended for grassroots development projects, acknowledges the fact that landmine and UXO clearance is a prerequisite for development in many parts of Cambodia," said Jamie Sutherland, who signed the contract on behalf of MAG.

"The funding will dramatically reduce the threat from landmines and UXO for around 7,500 people. We are extremely grateful to the people and Government of Japan for their continued support of MAG's humantitarian mine action activities in Cambodia."

Six other non-governmental organisations were also successful in their funding applications and were also present at the signing ceremony, which was presided over by the Japanese Ambassador, H.E. Mr Shinohara Katsuhiro. Over one million dollars of grant aid was awarded.

The Kusanone Assistance scheme was introduced to Cambodia in 1991, and aims to protect vulnerable individuals from factors which directly threaten their lives, livelihoods and dignity. It also aims to promote self-reliance amongst local communities.

Since 2002, the Government of Japan has given almost four million US dollars to fund MAG's work in Cambodia.

For more information on MAG's Cambodia programme please visit

[ Any views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not of Reuters. ]

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