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Government set to double public investment in 2009

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090226_03.jpg

Finance Minister announces plan to spend US$1 billion mainly targeting transport, infrastructure and irrigation projects.

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HENG CHIVOAN

Keat Chhon, deputy PM and finance minister, at a UN review Wednesday.   

FINANCE Minister Keat Chhon announced Wednesday that the government would spend around US$1 billion this year on public investment. He said the money would be focussed mainly on transportation, infrastructure and irrigation.

Keat Chhon, who is also a deputy prime minister, said during a review of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework that the public investment total would be double that of last year.

"I hope that we can also discuss the implementation and achievements of the important and ongoing UN reforms intended to ensure that the UN delivers as one," Keat Chhon said.

Wednesday's joint review between the government and the UN officials - described in a UNDAF press release as "frank, open and lively" - was designed to assess how well the 23 UN agencies, funds and programs in Cambodia were helping the Kingdom meet its development goals.

Keat Chhon said the review provided a good opportunity to identify new challenges and emerging risks, thereby helping to ensure that UN support remains effective.

Douglas Broderick, the UN's resident coordinator, said the UN's duty was to be a good facilitator in addition to a financial backer.

"As the world economic crisis deepens, it is more important than ever that the UN be a stronger partner and continue to give voice to the poorest of the poor," Broderick said.

The UNDAF guides the UN's development work in Cambodia. The UN focuses its efforts on four key areas: agriculture and rural poverty; capacity building and human resources development; development of the national strategic development plan; and good governance and human rights.

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