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PM Wants Stipend for Cambodian Students in Laos to be Provided in US Dollars

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that Cambodian scholarship students in Laos be provided US dollars in response to rising inflation in the country.

Speaking at the Graduation Ceremony for Students of the Royal University of Phnom Penh on Friday morning, 24 February 2023, the Prime Minister said that the stipend each Cambodian scholarship student receives from the government should be equivalent to US $180, however, when exchanged to Laotian Kip, the value gets halved and becomes worth just over US $90.

In order to solve this problem, he proposed that all Cambodian students in Laos should be given their stipend in dollars, and Cambodia will also provide dollars to Laotian students studying in Cambodia as well.

"Therefore, I would like to ask the Prime Minister of Laos from now on, in order to not have difficulties with the exchange rate, we should agree to give the stipend in dollars," he said. "We will give dollars to Laotian students in Cambodia, and Laos can also give dollars to Cambodian students studying in Laos to alleviate the hardships students face.”

There are currently about 86 Cambodian students studying in Laos.

During Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent state visit to Laos, he met with the group of Cambodian students studying there on 13 February. At the time, the Cambodian Ambassador to the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thong Sokuntheary, informed the Prime Minister that Cambodian students studying in Laos were currently struggling with exchange rates due to the declining Laotian currency.

She further informed the Prime Minister that the Cambodian students studying in Laos are majoring in subjects such as architecture, civil engineering, computer science, environment, tourism, interior decoration, English literature and economics.

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