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New Japan aid targets health

New Japan aid targets health

Portion will also cover Roleang Chrey irrigation

JAPAN announced last month that it would give roughly US$2.74 million to the Cambodian government for two projects - one aimed at fighting the spread of infectious diseases and the other to produce design improvements for Roleang Chrey Headworks, a major irrigation project in Kampong Speu province.

The bulk of the money - $2.5 million - will go towards the infectious disease control project, which will finance the purchase, storage and transportation of vaccines and the safe disposal of used syringes, among other things, according to a press release issued by the Japanese embassy January 11.

The rest of the money will go towards the Roleang Chrey Headworks, which was built in 1974. In particular, the money will be used to "provide a stable supply of water to the main canals in the present irrigated area".

Improving the headworks

Veng Sakhon, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said repairs to the dam would begin in mid-2009.

"We hope to finish the innovation in two years, and we hope that the dam will be able to irrigate about 10,000 to 20,000 hectares of land in the surrounding area," he said.

Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon said in a press release that the money would help mitigate the effects of the global economic downturn by funneling resources to agriculture infrastructure.