Japan has agreed to provide $276,266 in grant assistance under the Grassroots Human Security Project (Kusanone) to build a school in Kampong Speu province and a water supply system in Banteay Meanchey province.

The grant was signed on Thursday between Japanese ambassador Mikami Masahiro and Minister attached to the Prime Minister Chan Sarun.

A press release issued by the Japanese embassy said the school will be built using $90,754 by the Kampong Speu Provincial Department Education, Youth and Sport.

For this project, a six-room school building equipped with school furniture and washrooms will be built at Banteay Pranak Lower Secondary School. Currently, students at the school face difficulty in their studies due to a lack of space.

This project will ensure a safer and more comfortable learning environment. It is expected to benefit approximately 500 students and teachers.

The second project for a water supply system at Phnom Chat Disabled Soldiers Development Centre in Banteay Meanchey province will be carried out with $185,512 by the Cambodian Water Association.

“For this project, a water supply system will be constructed and approximately 30km of water distribution networks will be installed at Phnom Chat Disabled Soldiers Development Centre in Banteay Meanchey province,” the press release said.

Most of the people living in the centre are disabled and face difficulty accessing water because there is no water supply system within the area of the centre.

Through this project, more than 1,800 people will have access to clean water and it will improve their living standards, the press release said.

In a Facebook post, the Japanese embassy said the two grants would help improve the quality of life for people in the projects’ vicinity.

Masahiro said the Japanese government has been implementing Kusanone projects in Cambodia since 1991 to directly help local authorities and NGOs to implement their projects.

He noted that up to now, his government has provided more than $60 million to more than 600 projects through Kusanone.

“We are pleased that the projects have directly raised living standards of Cambodian people at the grassroots level.

“Cambodia is undergoing rapid development. However, I also acknowledge that some challenging problems remain unsolved to raise the living standards of the people,” he said.

The deputy director of the Education, Youth and Sport Department in Kampong Speu province, Bit Bunthol, said on Thursday that the Japanese grant will meet the students’ needs.

The province lacks schools and needs further assistance to improve their studies, he said.

“Some districts lack a great many schools. When the province obtains grants from Japan, it is very valuable. I thank Japan for helping our province.

“Our province is short of as many as 30 to 40 per cent of schools. We have made requests to the Cambodian government and various organisations for the construction of more schools,” he said.

Japan’s Kusanone projects started in Cambodia in 1991 in order to support Cambodia’s reconstruction and development at the grassroots level.

The assistance aims to protect those who are vulnerable due to various factors as well as promote self-reliance in local communities.