German ambassador to Thailand signs agreement in Bangkok

German ambassador to Thailand signs agreement in Bangkok

2013-08-16

In a signing ceremony at the German Embassy in Bangkok on 14 August, 2013 His Excellency Ambassador Rolf Schulze and APOPO Program Manager for Thailand Kim Warren, signed an agreement granting 281,550 EURO from Germany to support APOPO’s efforts to improve security in mine affected communities in Thailand.

"German foreign policy traditionally attaches great importance to humanitarian demining worldwide”, said the ambassador. "We know that landmines still pose a danger to life and limb of people and endanger the livelihoods of rural populations - even in border areas of Thailand. I am happy to continue our successful cooperation with APOPO and its partners, the Thai Mine Action Committee and Peace Roads Organisation. It is a modest contribution to making people's lives safer and return land to the use of local communities along the border."

With project partner The Peace Roads Organization (PRO) and the sanction of the Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC), the APOPO-PRO teams are mapping hazardous areas, providing mine risk education and supporting TMAC to deal with the threat of mines along its borders with Cambodia.

Each day, around the world 70 people die as a result of landmines. The vast majority of these victims are innocent civilians, mostly women and children. Landmines are indiscriminate killers that lurk in wait for years, or even decades after conflicts have come to an end. Landmines also have a paralyzing effect on communities by cutting off access to markets, schools, water and workable farmland. They not only terrorize, but they impede development, holding people hostage and hindering their efforts to survive and improve their lives.

Huge tracts of land along Thailand’s border areas are contaminated with these hidden killers and villagers are afraid to venture far from their homes, unable to plant their fields, or travel through forests.

APOPO’s Survey and Land Release program in Thailand supported by the Federal Republic of Germany, seeks to map the mine fields in Thailand’s border areas to allow people the freedom to move about, carry out their everyday lives and conduct a livelihood without fear and danger.

 


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