Saturday, October 2, 2010

More U.S.’ Funds for USAID Economic Growth Program


Cambodia and the U.S. have signed an amendment to their bilateral agreement that will provide US$16.44 million in 2010 funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support Cambodian priorities in economic growth, food security, and global climate change.

The amendment was signed here yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Sok An and USAID Mission Director Mr. Flynn Fuller in the presence of U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, Mrs. Carol A. Rodley. Under the amendment, the Royal Government of Cambodia will provide US$425,000 of in-kind support.

According to a press release of the U.S. Embassy, the funds will be used to support USAID’s ongoing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 2/ Business Enabling Environment (MSME 2/BEE) program, which will continue support for alleviating poverty in rural areas by increasing the productivity of family businesses.

This bilateral agreement also provides funds to support USAID’s new Helping Address Rural Vulnerabilities and Ecosystem Stability (HARVEST) Program that will support the Royal Government of Cambodia’s national development strategy by enhancing agricultural production, developing post-harvest management capacity, increasing access to food, and preparing the country to adapt to climate change, said the press release.

“Today’s event marks another important phase of improvement in cooperation between Cambodia and the U.S.,” said H.E. Sok An, also minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers.

This program is not only about economic cooperation but also about strengthening of friendship between Cambodia and the U.S., he said, believing that the contribution of the U.S. will offer mutual benefits and will make the bilateral relationship between both countries even more important.

H.E. Sok An urged for closer, direct cooperation between USAID and the Royal government of Cambodia, with the latter assuming ownership and responsibility for the implementation of the program in the near future.

The Cambodian deputy prime minister also expressed appreciation and thanks to the American government and people for providing valuable assistance that contributes to the socio-economic development of Cambodia.

Earlier on Sept. 28, Cambodia and the U.S. also signed amendments to two bilateral agreements that will provide US$35.10 million in 2010 funding from USAID to support the fields of health and education in Cambodia.

In addition to economic growth, health and education, the United States supports a broad range of programs designed to benefit all Cambodians, including programs in human rights, rule of law, anti-corruption, and combating trafficking in persons. The United States, through USAID, expects to commit US$69 million in development assistance to Cambodia in 2010.

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