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Japan gives $41M in new aid

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Japanese Ambassador Masahiro Mikami and Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhon sign the agreement for the ODA grant that provides $41 million in assistance to fight coronavirus. Foreign Ministry

Japan gives $41M in new aid

Japan has increased its Official Development Assistance (ODA) Grant by approximately 45 million Yen ($41 million) for three projects – the improvement of referral hospitals in Siem Reap province, human resource development scholarship and economic and social development programmes.

The move comes in response to a request from the government.

A press release issued by the Japanese Embassy on Friday said the projects were discussed between Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn and Japanese Ambassador Masahiro Mikami.

According to the press release, the Japanese government will provide $3.2 million in human resource development scholarships for young government officials to receive degrees from graduate schools in Japan.

Approximately $20 million will go towards the improvement of referral hospitals in Siem Reap province and $18.4 million to economic and social development programmes to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Sokhonn said at the signing ceremony on May 24 that Japan has provided grants and concession credits totalling $310 million to expand water supply systems, clear mines and for mine-related victims, social-economic development programmes, and improvements to National Road 5.

“While countries around the world, including Japan, are facing extreme difficulty and uncertainty due to the spread of Covid-19, the government of Japan is still committed to supporting the long-term development of Cambodia.

The donations today will improve the well-being and quality of our human resources to achieve our economic diversification in transforming Cambodia into an upper-medium income country [by] 2030,” Sokhonn said.

On behalf of the Cambodian government and people, Sokhonn thanked the Japanese government and people profoundly for the new ODA, in addition to generous aid provided to Cambodia since the beginning of the 1990s.

Mikami said the world is facing an unprecedented threat from Covid-19 and international collaborations were important and indispensable. The virus has seriously affected societies and economies, he said.

“Japan has until now spearheaded international efforts to achieve global health insurance.

“Considering that Covid-19 is affecting countries which have weak health systems, I highlight the importance of strengthening health systems in all countries, not just measures to prevent symptoms. Our commitment is based on this idea and the needs of Cambodia,” Mikami said.

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