The 10 vaccination vehicles donated by the Cambodian government to Laos were delivered to the country on March 12. The vehicles will provide a boost to the neighbouring nation's vaccination drive as well as bilateral relations between the two countries.

The handover ceremony was held at the Trapeang Kriel International Border Checkpoint in Stung Treng province, bordering Laos’ Champasak.

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine, who is also head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, represented Cambodia at the ceremony, saying that the Kingdom and Laos have a long history of friendship. She spoke of the current close bilateral and multilateral cooperation – in the framework of ASEAN – and how they were working to bring peace, security and sustainable development to the two nations and the region.

She said Cambodia made three donations to Laos last year.

“This is our fourth donation to Laos. It reflects our concern for the people of our neighbouring country and a deep solidarity with the whole world, as it faces this unprecedented crisis. This good-hearted humanitarian assistance also demonstrates the amount of care our leader has for the people of Laos. It shows that Cambodia is a small country with a big heart,” she said.

Lao health minister Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, who was on hand to receive the fourth donation, thanked the Cambodian government for its dedication to public health across the borders. Addressing the Covid-19 crisis together goes to show that the relationship between the two neighbours is one of solidarity and cooperation, he said.

According to the health ministry, last year Cambodia donated 700,000 vaccine doses, three vaccination vehicles and other medical equipment to Laos.