Japan will provide $728,501 in total for three recipient organisations in Kratie, Kampong Cham and Battambang provinces to enhance the medical system for the practice of paediatric surgery as well as strengthening community care and support networks for children and improving the learning environment through primary school construction.

According to a press release from the Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh on January 19, the money will be provided through the grant assistance for Japanese NGO projects framework.

The agreement was signed on January 19 between Japanese ambassador Masahiro Mikami and the representatives of the three recipient organisations.

The embassy said the first project was for enhancing the medical system in order to practice paediatric surgery in Kratie province with a grant total of $125,000. The recipient organisation is the Foundation for International Development/Relief (FIDR).

“This project will benefit medical personnel who will be trained by the project as well as the residents who may require medical treatment in Kratie province,” said the press release.

The second project is to strengthen the community care and support network for children in Kampong Cham province, which was given a budget of $200,900. The recipient is the People’s Hope Japan (PHJ).

“PHJ will also provide nutrition education with cooking training to improve the knowledge of villagers who have young children. Through this project, 4,669 children under 5 will benefit from the improved knowledge of their parents, leading them to grow healthier towards the future,” said the press release.

The third project will construct primary schools that include classrooms, a library facility, toilets and hand-washing stations in Battambang province with a budget of $402,580. The recipient is the Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA).

“This will support the safe reopening of schools and enable students to return to learning smoothly after the end of the prolonged school closure. Through this project, 1,140 students and teachers at the targeted schools will be able to study in a safer and more comfortable environment and get a better quality education,” said the press release.

Japanese ambassador Mikami said at the signing ceremony that Cambodia was developing rapidly, but there were still some challenges that need to be addressed to improve people’s quality of life, such as poverty reduction and social development, including the health and education sectors.

According to the press release, the grant assistance for Japanese NGO projects programme started in Cambodia in 2002 to support activities by Japanese NGOs to help Cambodia’s reconstruction and development efforts at the grassroots level.