The Japanese government has provided $171,641 in grants to Cambodia for the construction of kindergartens and secondary schools in Battambang and Koh Kong provinces in order to improve the quality of education and livelihoods at the local level.

The signing of the grant agreement took place at the Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh on December 1 and was presided over by Ichitomo Taninai, deputy chief of mission at the embassy, along with Yi Songky and Nget Leung, the directors of the Department of Education, Youth and Sport of Battambang and Koh Kong provinces respectively.

The grant is provided under the Japan Economic Cooperation Scheme through Japan's Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects (KUSANONE).

At the signing ceremony, Taninai noted that Cambodia has been developing rapidly but still faces some challenges.

"There are still some challenges that need to be addressed to improve the quality of life of the people. Japan will continue to contribute to addressing these challenges through various socio-economic development schemes, including the KUSANONE grant," he said.

The grant will be divided into two projects: The first project will budget $79,465 for the Battambang education department to build, furnish and equip a kindergarten. The project is expected to benefit 100 students from the ages of 3 to 5 and employ five teachers, thereby improving the learning environment and the quality of education there.

The second project will see a $92,176 grant provided to the Koh Kong education department for the construction, furnishing and equipping of a secondary school in the province.

The project will benefit 72 students and employ seven teachers while ensuring a safer and more comfortable learning environment.

KUSANONE began in Cambodia in 1991 to support Cambodia's efforts to develop and rebuild the country at the grassroots level.

Its grants focus on vulnerable people and assist them by promoting education and better livelihoods while also building self-reliance in their communities.

Since 1991, Japan has provided more than $65 million to the Cambodian government and local NGOs to implement 665 KUSANONE projects across Cambodia.