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US promises aid for Kingdom’s looming water, climate crises

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US Ambassador Patrick Murphy said the US was committed to helping the Kingdom address its water and climate issues. Photo supplied

US promises aid for Kingdom’s looming water, climate crises

US Ambassador Patrick Murphy said the US was committed to helping the Kingdom address its water and climate issues, as well as attract better foreign investments.

Murphy’s remarks came as he met with Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology Lim Kean Hor and Minister of Planning Chhay Than on Monday.

In a tweet, Murphy said: “Met today [Monday] with Minister of Planning Chhay Than. Discussed continued cooperation to help Cambodia achieve its Sustainable Development Goals and the important ingredients needed to draw additional high-quality foreign investment.”

“Pleasure meeting Water and Meteorology Minister Lim Kean Hor to discuss Cambodia’s significant water and climate challenges. US committed to help through Lower Mekong Initiative, sustained partnership with the MRC Mekong and other support,” he said in a succeeding tweet.

His sentiments were echoed by US embassy spokeswoman Emily Zeeberg.

Both Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology spokesman Chan Yutha and Ministry of Planning spokesman Nop Kan Navuth could not be reached for comments on Tuesday.

However, local media Fresh News reported that Kean Hor had asked Murphy to consider the possibility of coordinating with his ministry to assist on technical work – a request which Murphy took positively.

Than was also said to have appealed for the US government’s assistance in developing and strengthening Cambodia’s human capital.

“During the meeting, the two sides pledged to further strengthen and expand cooperation between the Ministry of Planning and the US Agency for International Development [USAID] and other development partners, including UN Population Fund [UNFPA] and UN Children’s Fund [Unicef],” reported Fresh News.

From January 1-4, the water outflows at China’s Jinghong hydropower station were reduced by more than 50 per cent to accommodate dam equipment testing. This affected water levels in the Mekong River.

In a press release on December 31, last year, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) said: “The water levels in the Mekong River, which flows through Phnom Penh and the provinces of Stung Treng, Kratie, Kampong Cham, Kandal and Prey Veng, will drop from 0.2-0.25m during January 15-18.”

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