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Cambodia-US Discuss Progress on $300 Million Grant

PHNOM PENH: The Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister and Secretary-General of the Cambodian Committee for Rehabilitation and Development of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (NCDD), Chhieng Yanara, received a courtesy visit from the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Cambodia, Patrick. W. Murphy, on Thursday at the Council for the Development of Cambodia. The main purpose of this meeting was to introduce the new Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as to discuss the priorities of bilateral development cooperation and exchange views on related topics.

Minister Chhieng Yanara extended a warm welcome to the Ambassador and congratulated Nancy J. Eslick on her recent appointment by the United States Government as the new Head of the USAID Mission to Cambodia. The Minister also expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation to the Government and people of the United States, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, for continuing to provide technical and financial support for several sectors such as health, education, agriculture, and environment, and in particular the provision of approximately US $15 million in grants and approximately US $1.06 million in Covid-19 vaccines (Johnson & Johnson) to support Cambodia’s Covid-19 response and socio-economic rehabilitation measures.

Ambassador Patrick W. Murphy also praised the efforts and progress made by the Royal Government of Cambodia, especially the management of the Covid-19 outbreak and the successful implementation of a robust vaccination plan, that made the Covid-19 vaccines available to Cambodians as well as foreigners living and working in Cambodia. The Ambassador also officially introduced Ms. Nancy J. Eslick as USAID's New Head of Mission to Cambodia, and commended the Council for the Development of Cambodia for its continued cooperation and partnership with the US Government through the US Embassy, USAID and other US agencies. Ms. Nancy J. Elick, in turn, expressed her pleasure to be assigned to Cambodia and pledged to further strengthen the development cooperation and partnership between the United States and Cambodia.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed the progress made in bilateral development cooperation and the Draft Agreement on Financing for Development Cooperation 2021-2025, between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United States Government. The Draft Agreement is scheduled to conclude negotiations and prepare to be signed during the first quarter of 2022. Under the Agreement, approximately $300 million in grant funding will be provided by the US Government to support the health, education, agriculture and the environment sectors in Cambodia over a five-year period. In addition, the two sides also discussed and exchanged views on a number of relevant topics, including the impact of Covid-19, promoting trade and exports between the two countries, environment, agriculture, food security and nutrition, and the 2022 ASEAN chairmanship which Cambodia will be taking on.

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