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US gives $56 mln to support Kingdom

Sorn Sarath / Khmer Times Share:
Students leave a primary school as the government announced the closure of education institutions over the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in Phnom Penh on March 14. Education is an area a US government grant is targeting. AFP

The US government has provided a total of $56 million to support Cambodia’s social and economy development programme in 2020, including $18 million to promote the Kingdom’s agriculture sector, according to a joint statement.

The Cambodian  government, through the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and the US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), signed a development objective grant agreement last week to provide approximately $18 million for agriculture and environment programmes through implementing organisations in Cambodia and $38 million for health and education programmes.

Chin Bun Sean, vice-chairman of the Council for Development of Cambodia, said that the agreement shows commitment by two countries on cooperation.

“This continued bilateral development cooperation is an important pillar in promoting and strengthening the cooperation and partnership between the two countries,” he said.

In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, USAID will fund programmes that reduce the number of people living in poverty, increase the production of important crops and improve nutrition among rural communities, according to the statement.

Patrick Murphy, the US ambassador to Cambodia, said during the signing that the US government is committed to continuing its support to the Cambodian people towards sustainable, inclusive and equitable socio-economic development.

Through collaboration with the Ministry of Health, programmes will aim to decrease maternal, infant and mortality rates in children aged under 5 years. The funds will also support programmes to decrease stunting and anaemia in children and women and reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Cambodia.

In the education sector, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and USAID programmes will support efforts to improve reading comprehension among children, lower school dropout rates and equip Cambodians to enter the workforce.

The funds will also support environmental programmes that reduce the vulnerability of people and landscapes to the effects of a changing climate and help Cambodia meet its international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially from deforestation and forest degradation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment.

The signed amendment to the agreement bring the total obligation of US development assistance in these sectors to more than $253 million since March 2016, according to the statement. Since 1994, the US government has provided more than $1 billion in support of the Cambodian people.

In response to the global pandemic, the US government has provided $11 million to support Cambodia’s COVID-19 response since March 2020.

“These funds will be used to help mitigate both the immediate medical response to COVID-19 within the Cambodian health system and the second-order effects resulting from the pandemic, with a particular focus on ensuring inclusive and equitable economic recovery”, the statement read.



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