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At 7:30 a.m., over 200 students gather under the roof of a large, open-air building at the Doun Ouv Primary School, 20 km from the city center. Bowls in hand, they wait patiently for a serving of white rice, and fish and spinach soup.
The government of Cambodia has made a commitment to becoming open defecation free by 2025 and a new development impact bond — the first in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector — aims to help the country get there.
“When you smoke around kids, you expose them to thousands of chemicals that are killing them alive …” begins a public service announcement by Cambodia’s National Center for Health Promotion and NGO Cambodia Movement for Health.
The boost to assistance for PNG and the Solomon Islands came at a toll for Indonesia and Cambodia. As growing economies, both are transitioning to a partnership approach between Australia and their governments, and as such, both had allocations reduced, with some of that money presumably allocated for the undersea cable between Australia, PNG, and the Solomon Islands.
At the tip of a small sandbar jutting into the Mekong, four fishermen unfurl a net, half an eye on the old man lecturing them. In a gravelly voice, 64-year-old Meak Phoeurn informs the group that this is a conservation area, that there is a rare bird nearby and they better stay away from her eggs.