Japan continues funding and support for Kingdom’s growth story

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Clean water from Phum Prek Water Supply Facility. Kenshiro Imamura

Japan has been steadfast in supporting Cambodia’s growth path for over three decades or so.

The Japanese government through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) continues to extend its support for Cambodia’s development agenda – to strengthen the socio-economic foundations and achieve an upper middle income country by 2030.

The Japanese government even revised its “Development Cooperation Policy for Cambodia” in July 2017 to be in line with Kingdom’s national strategies to achieve steady growth and poverty reduction agendas.

In accordance with this policy, JICA focuses on three key priorities – industrial development, better quality of life and fostering a sustainable society through the strengthening of governance to achieve its goals, according to JICA.

For the last 20 years, JICA has strongly committed itself to providing assistance which truly benefits the people of Cambodia over a long term. One of the results of this effort is the fact that Cambodia has taken a leadership position in some areas where JICA has been supporting for a long time, such as demining and water supply.

“Cambodia has even started providing assistance to other developing countries in these areas. Mobilising all of JICA’s assistance schemes and resources, we have been devoting our efforts to realise human security through economic growth and poverty reduction in Cambodia. We will continue to work together with the people of Cambodia and other development partners,” was the message of Yuichi Sugano, Chief Representative of JICA Cambodia Office .

The Japanese agency contributions cover diverse areas – from agriculture, education, governance, water supply, sewage and drainage, power supply, urban transportation, and infrastructure ranging from roads and bridges to ports.

“Japan is also promoting health and social security measures that will lead to universal health coverage,” said JICA.

Since dispatching its first batch of volunteers in 1965 and opening an office in Phnom Penh in 1993, JICA has remained a major donor to help Cambodians and improve their standard of living.

According to JICA’s office in Phnom Penh, loans to Cambodia by 2017 were 142,884 million yen, grant aids totalled 143,356 million yen and technical cooperation was valued at 86,258 million yen by the same year.

While the number of experts and volunteers dispatched to Cambodia until 2017 was 691 and 407 respectively, and 5,103 Cambodians were sent to Japan for trainings.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Water supply in Kampong Cham. Masayori Ishiakwa

JICA is the nodal agency to execute Japanese Overseas Development Aid, which assists developing countries to achieve their socio-economic development goals.

The agency is currently the world’s largest bilateral aid agency working in over 150 countries and regions and having nearly 100 overseas offices.

Japan and Cambodia bilateral relations span more than six decades with two-way trade and people-to-people relations, grew remarkably over the years.

And, its assistance for Cambodia has not slowed down either.

On February 12, the Japanese Embassy in Phnom Penh awarded a grant worth over $500, 000 to Shanti Volunteer Association to improve early childhood education in Battambang province.

Since 2002, Japan granted over $35 million to support 114 projects at grassroot level, mainly agriculture, health, primary education and mine clearance activities.