Canada to Reconsider Demining Funds: Minister

Canada has promised to consider funding a new mine clearance program in Cambodia, Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn said on Wednesday at a news conference.

Mr. Sokhonn said he had spoken to his Canadian counterpart, Chrystia Freeland, at the Asean-Canada Ministerial Meeting in Manila on Sunday.

A danger sign marks a minefield being cleared by CMAC in Battambang’s Bavel district. (Enric Catala)

“She promised to reconsider renewing donations,” Mr. Sokhonn said. “Previously, Canada was one of the biggest donors in mine clearance.”

Neither the Embassy Office of Canada in Phnom Penh nor the Embassy of Canada in Bangkok could be reached.

Canada has not provided aid to Cambodia since 2012, when it wrapped up projects that included funding for demining.

In September, Canada denied a Cambodian Foreign Affairs Ministry claim that it had promised to restart aid projects.

Heng Ratana, director of the Cambodian Mine Action Center, said he had been communicating with Canada since last year about the possibility of further funding.

“We welcome a donation if it is fair with our international politics,” he said.

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