The South Korean government via Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) donated seven vehicles to facilitate two programmes to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) on June 7.
The event, presided over by Heang Sine, undersecretary of state for the ministry, was organised as part of two programmes, with a total grant of $17 million, which was funded by the South Korean government.
The programmes consist of a business incubation system project between universities and Cambodian industries, and a school feeding programme using community-based agriculture.
Also present at the event were Hyunjun Rho, country director of KOICA and Chet Chealy, the rector of RUPP.
In a speech at the event, Sine said two vehicles will be donated to the National Incubation Centre of Cambodia to facilitate the working process of new business incubation projects.
His ministry and three provincial education departments will receive the remaining five vehicles which will be used for the school feeding programme.
“The school feeding programme is being conducted in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom and Pursat while the business incubation training is taking place between universities and industries in Cambodia,” Sine said.
The business incubation project is part of an $8 million grant from South Korea which has been implemented by Korea Productivity Centre (KPC) with the cooperation of the ministry and RUPP from 2019 to 2023.
“The project aims to create a new business incubation system and marketing network in Cambodia by strengthening the competitiveness of new startups,” KOICA said in a statement.
In addition, new incubation programmes will be supported so that it can contribute to industrial diversification and help achieve sustainable development.
As for the community-based school feeding programmes, KOICA noted that a $10 million grant was allocated for five years, from 2020 to 2024.
“The project has been implemented in 272 primary schools with a total of 29,032 students in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom and Pursat provinces,” the agency shared.
In the event, Sine expressed his gratitude to the South Korean government for donating $17 million for the programmes since 2019.
He said that the ministry has incorporated the indicators relating to the school feeding programme and business incubation training in the Education Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023.
“Besides the school feeding program which was implemented in 2020, Cambodia also became a full member of the Alliance Sate for School Feeding Implementation in August last year,” Sine said.
The programme has helped children in impoverished communities, who were suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition, access better health and education services in primary school.
Between 2021 and 2022, the government expanded the scope of the school feeding programme from 205 schools to 290 schools in nine provinces, although Cambodia was facing challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The joint school feeding transition strategy has been approved by the government and the World Food Program to ensure better implementation of the social assistance system, accountability, sustainability and environment from 2023 to 2028.” Sine said.