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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Donors to give US$1b: Official

Donors to give US$1b: Official

FOREIGN donors have promised nearly US$1 billion in aid for the coming year, a senior government official close to the process said Thursday, despite expectations that donors would reduce contributions in the face of the global economic crisis. Last year donors pledged $690 million.

"As far as I know, donors will pledge close to $1 billion because the government has done good work," Hang Chuon Naron, secretary general for the Finance Ministry, told the Post  Thursday, a day ahead of the expected official announcement.

At the same time, donor groups called for better prioritising of public spending.

Addressing the government's plan to double its military spending to $500 million in 2009, John Nelmes, head of the International Monetary Fund in Cambodia, said: "Military spending should be targeted on critical needs to avoid limiting funding to other key areas".

And Qimiao Fan, World Bank country manager, pressed the government to pass an anti-corruption law that has been delayed for more than a decade.

"Passing the law will be an important signal, providing investors and development partners with confidence to make more long-term commitments in Cambodia."

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