U.S. Extends US$34.8 Million for Health and Education in Cambodia

DPM & CarolThe U.S. government has decided to provide US$34.8 million to support Cambodian priorities in health and education.

H.E. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Flynn Fuller, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director, signed here today amendments to two bilateral agreements related to the above-said assistance.

U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Carol A. Rodley also attended the signing ceremony and signed as a witness.

According to a press release of the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, the amendment to the first agreement consists of US$31.6 million in grant funds to achieve health objectives.  Funds will be used to promote a variety of activities to reduce the transmission and impact of HIV/AIDS; to prevent and control major infectious diseases such as tuberculosis; to fight avian influenza and other influenza-like illnesses; to improve maternal, reproductive, and children’s health; and to strengthen Cambodian public-health systems.

The amendment to the second agreement will provide US$3.2 million in grant funds to support the Cambodian government’s education objectives.  These funds will support the launch of a new program that will build on USAID’s ongoing education program, which is improving the quality and relevance of basic education and increasing access to schooling for all children, including minorities, people with disabilities, and the very poor.  Activities will also focus on reducing school dropout and repetition rates through improvements in teaching quality, school-management training, and measuring student academic achievement.

“This assistance shows the good relations between Cambodia and the U.S., which have been strengthened day by day,” said DPM Hor Namhong, adding that the new funding brings to over US$250 million that the United States has provided in support of health and education in Cambodia since 1999.

H.E. Hor Namhong further said he will leave here on Sept. 22 to New York and he is planning to meet his American counterpart to discuss about the ties of friendship and cooperation between both countries.

In addition to health and education activities, the press release added, USAID supports a broad range of programs designed to benefit all Cambodians in areas such as human rights, rule of law, local governance and decentralization, anti-corruption, natural-resource management, economic growth, and combating trafficking in persons.  USAID expects to commit US$61.8 million in assistance to Cambodia in 2009.

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