Norway Grants Cambodia Nearly US$4 Million for Angkor Wat Conservation

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PHNOM PENH, (Khmer Times)  — The government of Norway has granted US$3.7 million to Cambodia for the conservation of Angkor Wat over a five-year period from now to 2019. 
 
Mr. Bun Narith, director general of the APSARA Authority, said that the grant is very significant for managing the ancient temples, protecting the cultural heritage and improving the standard of living of residents there. 
 
He added that the grant would be used for a wide range of initiatives including training the APSARA Authority staff, educating students and the community on Angkorian heritage, creating tourist activities, managing resources and the surrounding environment, and improving infrastructure.
 
It is the second such grant provided by Norway and it comes on the heels of the previous funding for the Natural Management Sector at Angkor and improving the living standards of residents. The previous grant was also a five-year initiative that was completed in September of last year.
 
The government has noted that the countries of France, Japan, India, China, Switzerland and Norway, along with 28 NGOs, have helped in the rehabilitation and conservation of Angkor since it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
 
Angkor is the most important tourism site in Cambodia and covers a total of 40,000 hectares. Last year 2.23 million foreign tourists came to visit this area. In the first three months of 2014, it has drawn 778,740 tourists, an increase of 12 percent compared to last year.

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