Mine Clearance

Switzerland’s contribution to HALO Trust allows to clear 5.4 km2 of heavily mined land in the northwest provinces of Cambodia, benefitting 9,800 poor households by providing safe access to land and water sources. In its last phase, it supports the Cambodian government in achieving its goal to becoming a mine-free country by 2025. SDC coordinates with the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority to monitor community land use and ownership after mine clearance.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Conflict & fragility
Agriculture & food security
Removal of land mines
Agricultural land resources
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025
CHF  4’000’000
Background Mines were planted in Cambodia from the early 1980s until the late 1990s, during Vietnamese occupation, particularly land areas along the Cambodian-Thai border, known as the K5 mine belt, which has the most minefields. Mines continue to take lives, obstruct productive land use and safe habitation, and endanger access to agricultural land and water resources. Poor people and women are particularly affected. Since 1992 and as of the end of 2022, 2,531 km2 or over 60% of total contaminated land had been cleared of mines, explosive remnants of war (ERW), and unexploded ordnance (UXO), benefiting 7.5 million people (♀:50%) and improving the livelihoods of hundred thousands of rural people. An area of approximately 2,000 km2 remains contaminated, including 648 km2 of minefields. Cambodia has pledged to clear all landmines by 2025. The Government raised over USD 20 million from the general public, the wealthy and the private sector and established a national foundation. On top of that in November 2022, the Government committed an additional USD 30 million and deploys 2,600 mine-clearing soldiers. While the mine-free goal by 2025 is within reach and can be considered a success, there are still an estimated 1,000 km2 of land contaminated with explosive remnants of war that will need to be cleared also after 2025 deadline.
Objectives People in Cambodia, in particular young people, women and disadvantaged groups have improved human security, improved economic conditions and resilience, and safer access to natural resources. 
Target groups The primary beneficiaries are vulnerable rural families (9,800 households) living in heavily contaminated mine areas of Cambodia's K5 mine belt provinces.
Direct beneficiaries 49,000 and 97,000 indirectly people (men and women of which 40% are LNOB) through mine and ERW clearance.
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Fewer landmine/ERW casualties, and people in affected communities feel safer following land release

Outcome 2: People’s livelihoods are improved through a.) Safe, productive and sustainable land use, particularly through agriculture in vulnerable areas and b.) better access to natural resources and basic services

Outcome 3: Environmental actors in Cambodia have better access to environmental data on mine cleared land and can use it for their work. 

Outcome 4: Improved coordination in the mine action sector and local economic empowerment of women.


Expected results:  

  1. Full manual clearance of 2.448 km² mine area
  2. NTS of ERW/UXO area to release/clear 2.92 km²
  3. 95 PCA conducted 
  4. 400 environmental surveys conducted and 400 shared with environmental actors
  5. Three EORE sessions held with RECOFTC
  6. Three Project Steering Committee meetings held with CMAA and donors

Results from previous phases:  

With the Swiss funding, HALO has cleared 3.8 km2 of minefields and returned back to communities for productive use, 70% of the cleared land is now used for crops.

HALO has also cancelled over 2.7 km2 of ERW and UXO hazardous land area through non-technical survey (NTS); direct beneficiaries: 51,940 people (♀:51%) 11,290 households. Indirect beneficiaries were 102,874 people (22,364 households) living in affected communities.

1,314 mine risk education (MRE) and explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) sessions were conducted for 8,145 people (♀:51%) living in affected communities, and 42 new mines fields were assessed; and 116 pre-clearance assessments (PCA) conducted. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • HALO Trust Cambodia

Coordination with other projects and actors CMAA, UNDP, GICHD, ARMAC, National and International Demining Operators: CMAC, MAG
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’922’000
Project phases Phase 3 01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022   (Completed) Phase 1 01.11.2016 - 31.12.2019   (Completed)