The government will receive more than $43 million from Japan to improve Cambodia’s drainage systems and develop its ports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced on Tuesday.
A grant and loan package has been signed off by Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn and Japanese Ambassador Horinouchi Hidehisa, a press release on Tuesday revealed.
A loan of up to 3.6 billion yen (around $31.6 million) will be available for the implementation of the West Tonle Sap Irrigation and Drainage Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (II), while a grant of up to 1.3 billion yen (around $11.8 million) will be available for the Project of Development of Port Electric Data Interchange (EDI) System for Port Modernisation.
“The loan and grant aid package has been extended by the government of Japan to the Royal Government of Cambodia with a view to further promote the economic and social development of the Kingdom of Cambodia,” the ministry said.
From April 2017 to March last year, Cambodia and Japan signed off on grant aided projects for scholarships, flood prevention in Phnom Penh, the building of bridges in areas vulnerable to flooding and the construction of a methodology institute, with a loan given to developing a container port at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port. In total, these amounted to $319 million.
Additionally, the Japanese government assisted the National Election Committee (NEC) on five occasions between 1998-2018, (in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008) in terms of materials and technical support, and supplying ballot boxes for national and commune elections. In total, this amounted to $13 million.
Battambang provincial governor Nguon Ratanak said Japanese assistance was beneficial to his province, especially in irrigation and drainage system development.
Such assistance has helped the agriculture-reliant province to receive enough water, with farmers in some areas cultivating three harvests a year.
Ratanak added that Battambang province has received assistance from the government in other areas, which also helped improve the livelihoods of its people.
“The public investment fund, including loan and state investment funds, have boosted the growth of the local economy, such as dam and irrigation-system investment projects and infrastructure projects that serve the agriculture sector in Battambang.
"In addition, Japan is helping with clean water projects in the town and improvements to National Road 5,” he said.