By Jody McPhillips
the cambodia daily
Germany will give another $11 million to Cambodia this year in emergency and other forms of aid, adding to the $122 million it has donated in recent years, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, announced Monday.
She is in Cambodia for a three-day visit that included a tour of flood-ravaged areas.
In addition to discussing aid, Wieczorek-Zeul was asked if Germany is pressuring Cambodian officials to move a trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders forward.
She said while a tribunal was discussed during her meetings with government officials, Germany is not pressuring Cambodia and she is convinced the government will honor its commitment to try senior Khmer Rouge leaders.
Wieczorek-Zeul declined to say how many leaders that might be, noting that she was here primarily to discuss aid. “I am not here to tell the government or the country what its own task is,’’ she said.
But, she said, it is the consensus of the European Union that “genocidal crimes are against humanity as a whole, not just the concern of one country but the concern of humanity as a whole.’’
She said she believes the international community failed twice in recent years to live up to that standard: once during Cambodia’s genocide and again in Rwanda.
“It is with great compassion that we have followed the painful way of Cambodia’’ as it struggles to repair the damage inflicted by war, genocide and now flooding, she said.
She said Germany will provide nearly $8 million in emergency flood aid. More than $1 million of that is slated to provide 200,000 people with food, clean water and medicine for two months, in addition to rebuilding 30 schools and 30 health centers. More than
$6 million will be earmarked to rebuild roads and other infrastructure.
Germany will also provide more than $3 million to help pay for the upcoming commune elections, and another $1.5 million for legal advisory services to women.