Australia on Tuesday revealed that it will be spending AU$15 million (US$12.1 million) on resettling refugees in Cambodia under a controversial deal the two countries signed last year, on top of the AU$40 million (US$31.2 million) in additional aid Cambodia will receive for agreeing to the scheme.
Under the deal, Cambodia has agreed to take in an unspecified number of refugees Australia is detaining on the island nation of Nauru.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Australia’s Immigration Department said the $12.1 million “is for services to support the settlement of refugees in Cambodia, including health, education and training services.
It is in addition to the [$31.1] million previously announced.” According to the Australian Associated Press, the new funds were discussed at a Senate committee meeting in Canberra on Tuesday.
The agreement signed by the two countries last year stipulated that Australia will cover the resettlement and living expenses for refugees who volunteered to come to Cambodia for at least a year, but did not specify an amount.
Phnom Penh approved the applications of the first four refugees to volunteer for resettlement but has yet to set a date for their arrival.