The U.S. Department of State salutes Aki Ra, founder of Cambodian Self-Help Demining, for being named by CNN as one of the Top Ten Heroes for 2010. Aki Ra’s organization is supported by the Landmine Relief Fund, an American nongovernmental organization that is the recipient of U.S. Department of State funding.
Cambodia Self-Help Demining was established in 2008 and works to safely clear landmines and unexploded ordnance in rural areas of central Cambodia. In 2009 and 2010, the Department of State provided a $100,000 grant to Landmine Relief Fund to support Aki Ra’s clearance team.
The Landmine Relief Fund (www.landmine-relief-fund.com) is one of more than 60 members of the Public-Private Partnership Program for Conventional Weapons Destruction that collaborates with the Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement. The mission is to clear landmines and explosive remnants of war, teach mine risk education, assist injured survivors of conflict, and destroy small arms, light weapons, and munitions that are excess to foreign countries’ needs.
The United States is the world’s leading provider of financial and technical assistance for humanitarian mine action. Since 1993, the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program has invested more than $71 million in humanitarian mine action in Cambodia. Worldwide, the United States spends more than $1.8 billion in mine action assistance, contributing toward a dramatic global reduction in casualties. To learn more about the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement’s programs, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra.