Japan has provided more than $200 million as a loan to support Cambodia with social and economic recovery amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) on November 10 signed a loan agreement with the government to provide a Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of about $240 million for the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan, Jica said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The objective of the programme loan is to subsidise the country’s recovery from the social and economic downturn caused by COVID-19 through budget support for the implementation of the COVID-19 Master Plan and related policies,” it said.
The statement said this loan will contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 1 to end poverty in all its forms, Goal 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all of all ages and Goal 8 to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
It said the project “COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan” aims to provide financial support to the government to implement countermeasures against COVID-19, such as maintaining and activating economic and social activities, protecting socially vulnerable people and improving the health system in the Kingdom.
“These measures in turn contribute to stabilising the economy and society of Cambodia and encouraging efforts for sustainable development,” said the statement.
It said this project matches the development subjects and policies of the government and the cooperation policies of the Japanese government and Jica, said the statement.
The statement said Cambodia has a close economic relationship with Japan, which accounted for 8.3 percent of Cambodia’s exports and 3.2 percent of imports in 2018.
“There is concern that the spread COVID-19 may seriously affect 388 Japanese companies operating in Cambodia,” it said.
A Ministry of Economy and Finance spokesman Meas Soksensan told Khmer Times yesterday that to combat COVID-19, the government is still welcoming all sources of resources. However, the government is not solely dependent on foreign countries’ resources.
“That is why we have reserved more than $1,100 million this year, and next year, we will reserve a similar amount to fight against COVID-19 and to make economic recovery,” he said.
“We do not reject resources from development partners, donors, foreign countries or international institutions and we use said money with transparency to rightly target economic recovery,” Soksensan said.