The Japanese government yesterday provided grant assistance worth nearly $350,000 to support IT education for disabled young Cambodians, as well as the construction of hospital buildings in three provinces across the kingdom.
The agreement was signed at the Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon between Horinouchi Hidehisa, the Japanese ambassador to Cambodia, and four representatives of the funding recipients.
According to Mr Hidehisa, the NGO Marist Solidarity Cambodia will get $72,100, Takeo province’s Bati Operational District Health Office will receive $91,000, the Mondulkiri provincial department of health will take $90,000 and the Kampong Thom provincial department of health will get $90,000.
Terence Gregory Heinrich, chairman of the Kandal-based Marist Solidarity, which focuses on IT education for young Cambodians with disabilities, said the funding would go toward a tuition centre and walkway, which would greatly benefit all of the students, 20 percent of whom use wheelchairs.
“To be able to enhance the opportunities for instruction and experience in IT for young Cambodians with physical disabilities is a great gift to us,” he said.
“We have been offering an introduction to computing to all of our students since 2000 and good numbers of them have gone on to make good use of that competence,” he added.
“It is so pleasing for us all that the ‘Kusanone’ grant benefits them so generously. They will be delighted.”
Japan’s Kusanone projects started in Cambodia in 1991, in order to support the kingdom’s reconstruction and development at the grassroots level.
The assistance aims to protect vulnerable people from poverty and other misfortunes that directly threaten their lives, livelihood, and dignity, as well as to promote self-reliance of local communities.
Srey Sin, director of the Kampong Thom provincial department of health, said the funding would go toward the construction of an emergency ward at Baray-Santuk Referral Hospital in the province.
“Providing quality emergency care to patients not only requires effective care and treatment, but also must take into account health risks and the patient’s safety. Proper health infrastructure and facilities are required to ensure quality,” he said.
“With this new building, it will be easier for the patients to receive emergency services and have an appropriate and safe place to stay. It will also lead to improved health outcomes and reduced health risks and mortality.”
Since 1991, Japan has provided more than $55 million to local authorities and NGOs to implement 562 Kusanone projects throughout Cambodia.