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Wine charity group donates $100,000 to help land mine survivors

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: A charity group started by wine lovers in North America will donate more than US$100,000 (77,875) to help rehabilitate survivors of land mines and unexploded ordnance in Cambodia, the U.S. Embassy said Tuesday.

The embassy said in a statement that the money was raised during an annual charity dinner hosted by Grapes for Humanity, a Toronto-based nonprofit group that raises money for charity through wine tastings, dinners and auctions.

The funds would be directed to the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation to build new facilities at its rehabilitation center for land mine survivors in Prey Veng province, about 31 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of the capital Phnom Penh, the embassy said.

Last year, Grapes for Humanity donated US$75,000 (58,407) to help clear land mines in Cambodia and to help disabled orphans.

Cambodia's countryside is littered with land mines and unexploded ordnance left over from more than two decades of armed conflict, which ended only seven years ago.

The embassy's statement said such weapons had killed or seriously injured more than 62,000 Cambodians since 1979.

The Associated Press Published: November 21, 2006

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