The Australian government announced an aid package of approximately $65 million to Cambodia for its five-year development programme.

The announcement was made via video conference between Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth and Australian ambassador to Cambodia Pablo Kang on August 18, according to the finance ministry’s press statement.

Pornmoniroth thanked Australia for its continued technical and financial support for Cambodia’s development in many areas, especially agriculture, through the Cambodia Agriculture Value Chain Programme Phase 1 and 2, which focuses on the restoration and construction of irrigation systems, the promotion of agricultural trade and building agricultural resilience.

Kang told Pornmoniroth about the progress being made on projects supported by the Australian government, such as the Mekong-Australia Partnership, and the Mekong-Australia Centre for Water and Irrigation, Partnership for Infrastructure (P4I) and agro-food investment.

He also mentioned assistance to Cambodia in a number of other areas, such as the pre-achievement study on the establishment of agro-industrial parks, sprouting knowledge programme and support for Cambodia as it chairs the upcoming ASEAN Summit.

“Additionally, ambassador Kang informed [Pornmoniroth] about the development programme for the next five years with an estimated budget of 90 million Australian dollars [$65 million] and key priorities that will be focused on in the next phase,” the ministry said.

Pornmoniroth said the government’s top priority is to stem the spread of Covid-19 and to build Cambodia’s capacity to live with this disease in the medium and long term.

He said the government is preparing for the post-Covid-19 economic recovery by focusing on three key principles: recovery, reform and resilience.

“In this sense, the Australian government’s financial and technical assistance is in line with [Cambodia’s] policy priorities in the context of the Covid-19 outbreak, which will make a significant contribution to the government’s implementation of post Covid-19 economic recovery plans,” he said.

Pornmoniroth also invited Kang to engage in further discussions with relevant ministries, institutions and development partners to ensure that Australia’s development projects are complementary and interconnected with other ongoing efforts.