U.S. gives Cambodia $31m for health care, schools
Last Updated: 2004-08-03
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – The United States pledged $31.5 million to Cambodia on Tuesday to help rebuild the impoverished southeast Asian nation’s health care and education systems after decades of war and unrest.
The vast majority of the grant aid will go to fighting diseases such as HIV/AIDS, officials said, and promoting maternal and child health.
Cambodia has the highest HIV infection rate in Asia, with an estimated 2.6 percent of the population, or 157,000 people, infected. According to the United Nations, it also has among the highest rates for infant mortality in the region.
The remaining $2 million is to be spent on teacher training programmes to try to bolster an education system undermined by poorly paid teachers, endemic corruption and lack of adequate books and resources.
Even though the curtain came down on Cambodia’s civil war in 1998, the legacy of decades of fighting and the Khmer Rouge genocide continues to hamper the country’s development. Nearly two-thirds of government revenue is foreign aid.
Japan has historically been the country’s biggest donor.