Confusion over some pledges
T he international community dug deep
into its pockets to find more than $777 million in pledges including $350,000 in
military uniforms from Thailand, and $120,000 of artificial limbs from India, at
the ICORC meeting in Tokyo this month.
A total of $777,103,555 was
pledged for the reconstruction of Cambodia including $490 million which will be
spent this year, and a further allocation of $271 million for
Minister of Information Ieng Mouly said the total was more than the
Cambodian delegation had hoped for.
"On the flight to Tokyo we [the
Cambodian delegation] discussed how much money we hoped would be committed. We
decided that if there were commitments of $350 million we would be very happy.
In fact, we received over $750 million."
The aid will be given in a
variety of forms including technical assistance, grant aid and debt relief.
Other aid is being funneled through international agencies.
figure of $775 million was reported by international press agencies immediately
after the conference, it is still far from clear how much of this money is new
money, and how much is a re-commitment to pledges already made.
indicated that its September 1993 pledge of $400,000 could not be realized in
1993, and that the money would be made available in 1994.
Kingdom said it had previously pledged $30 million over a 4-5 year period, not
all of which has been spent.
However, the Royal government is clearly
satisfied with the support it received at the conference.
further questions still remain - how much of the commitments represent money the
government will be able to spend without constraints, and how much will have to
Much of the money appears to be committed to specific
projects or is intended to be channeled through international agencies like UNDP
or NGOs like the Red Cross.
Austria made a contingent commitment of
$100,000 for 1994 to the Kirirom Hydropower Station, and Japan tagged $1.6
million for UNDP. Canada has recently given the UNDP, the Red Cross in Cambodia
and the World Food Program in Cambodia $1 million each.
commitments to Cambodia have totaled $37 million, pledged an additional $6
million for 1995, to be used by the Interim Mekong Committee and Danish NGO's.
India offered to continue to help restore Angkor Wat by adding $120,000 to the
$1.1 million it has already spent.
Sweden committed over $13 million to
be spent in 1994 and a similar amount for 1995. Almost all of the 1994 money was
committed to international organizations like Unicef, UNDP and the UN Center for
Some assistance appears to have been made on a more
Japan's commitment of nearly $90 million in grant aid for
the 1994 fiscal year is, according to its pledge, "to the priority areas such as
agriculture, improvement and development of social and economic infrastructure
and human resources development."
Thailand said it would earmark $1.2
million for technical assistance to Cambodia, which will concentrate on human
resource development, medical and public health care, and rural
Deputy Administrator for the US Agency for International
Development, Carol Lancaster, said the American contribution so far amounted to
more than $135 million.
She said the United States government intended to
provide over $33 million in 1994 and $40 million in 1995, subject to approval by
the United States Congress. An additional $6 million was ear-marked for
Not all countries could make a financial commitment. Vietnam
said because it was facing many economic and financial difficulties, it was
unable to provide direct financial aid. However, it indicated a willingness to
allow goods required by Cambodia to be transported through its ports and across
Vietnam also said it would continue to provide training for
students and technical workers, and would provide experts, if requested by the
Like the Thai contribution of uniforms and the
Indian contribution of artificial limbs, some of the aid extended Cambodia will
be in the form of material support.
The Russian Federation pledged to
finance the education of more than 500 Cambodians in Russian higher and
specialized secondary institutes until 1998, at a cost to the Federation of
In addition, the Russian Federation will also subsidize
the handing over of the 150 kW medium-wave radio station in Phnom Penh to the
government, and donate educational laboratory equipment to the Phnom Penh
University. These two gifts total $2.9 million.
The Cooperation Committee
for Cambodia (CCC) pledged over $65 million for 1994.
CCC represents over
60 international NGOs involved in Cambodia and 50 recently-founded Cambodian
NGOs and Associations