The Royal Government of Cambodia, through the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), and the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), signed an agreement to provide a total of over US$56 million in assistance for four sectors in 2020, according to a joint press announcement released yesterday.
Under the grant agreement, US$38 million will be for health and education programmes and approximately US$18 million for agriculture and environment programmes through implementing organisations in the Kingdom of Cambodia, it said.
“This continued bilateral development cooperation is an important pillar in promoting and strengthening the cooperation and partnership between the two countries,” noted H.E. Chin Bun Sean, Cambodian Senior Minister in Charge of Special Missions and Vice-Chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia.
“The U.S. Government is committed to continuing its support to the Cambodian people towards sustainable, inclusive, and equitable socio-economic development,” added H.E. W. Patrick Murphy, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom.
Through collaboration with the Ministry of Health, programmes will aim to decrease maternal, infant, and mortality rates in children aged under five years, said the same source, adding that the funds will also support programmes to decrease stunting and anemia in children and women and reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in Cambodia.
In the education sector, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports and USAID programmes will support efforts to improve reading comprehension among children, lower school dropout rates, and equip Cambodians to enter the workforce, it continued.
Moreover, it pointed out, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, USAID will fund programmes that reduce the number of people living in poverty, increase the production of important crops, and improve nutrition among rural communities. The funds will also support environmental programmes that reduce the vulnerability of people and landscapes to the effects of a changing climate and help Cambodia meet its international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially from deforestation and forest degradation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment.
In addition, the U.S. Government has supported civil society organisations working in Cambodia on critical issues related to human rights, counter trafficking-in-persons, and accountability and transparency. All of these efforts complement the work with the government to support inclusive and sustainable development in Cambodia.
In March 2020, the U.S. Government has provided US$11 million to support Cambodia’s COVID-19 response. The funds will be used to help mitigate both the immediate medical response to COVID-19 within the Cambodian health system and the second-order impacts resulting from the pandemic, with a particular focus on ensuring inclusive and equitable economic recovery.
The signed amendment to the agreement brings the total obligation of U.S. development assistance in these sectors to over US$253 million since March 2016. The support aligns with Cambodia’s national priorities.
Since 1994, the U.S. Government has provided over US$1 billion in support of the Cambodian people.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press