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Power lines

Australia will allocate more than 30 million Australian dollars over the next four years to bring electricity to rural Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says thousands of rural households in Cambodia will be connected to electricity under funding Australia will provide through the World Bank over the next four years.

Smith announced the funding of more than 30 million Australian dollars on July 1 during a visit to Vietnam, one of three countries along with Cambodia and Laos to benefit from the rural electrification program.

"In Cambodia, where only six percent of rural households can access electricity, Australia will provide $12.3 million to help extend electricity supply to an additional 13,000 households and small enterprises in rural areas," Smith said.

As well as improving electrical supply in rural areas, the funds would also be used to reduce transmission losses and promote renewable energy in the three countries, Smith said.

A statement issued by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh said the funding builds on the Canberra government's development program in Cambodia.

"The Australian government will provide an estimated $61.2 million (US$58.6 million) in development assistance to Cambodia in 2008-2009 (July 2008 to June 2009)," said the statement.



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