Japan Says It Did Not ‘Pledge’ Aid, but ‘Indicated’ Aid Levels

While praising the outcome of this month’s Cambodia Develop­ment Cooperation Forum, a statement by the Japanese Embassy on Friday took issue with reports that the country’s foreign aid donors had “pledged” money to the country.

At the end of the June 2-3 meeting, at which the government and its foreign aid donors reviewed Cambodia’s progress toward de­velopment targets they had agreed to 18 months ago, the government said that donors had announced $1.1 billion in aid to the country.

“The CDCF is not a pledging conference,” the Japanese Em­bassy said in the statement.

“The [development partners] did not ‘pledge’ but ‘indicated’ the volume of aid for 2010-2012. Ja­pan ‘indicated’ around $131 million annually for the next three years,” the embassy said in the statement.

Asked why the use of the word “pledge” was considered inaccurate by Japan, Japanese Embassy First Secretary and spokesman Yasuhiko Kamada yesterday re­ferred back to the wording in his embassy’s press statement.

“As the press release says, the CDCF was not a pledging conference because the government of Cambodia requested donor countries to ‘indicate’ their volume of aid for 2010-2012,” Mr Kamada wrote in an e-mail.

“Therefore, in response to that re­quest, Japan, same as other donor countries, ‘indicated’ its volume of aid.”

At a June 3 press conference fol­lowing the close of the CDCF, Finance Minister Keat Chhon identified Japan as the country’s biggest donor.

Media reports have traditionally referred to the donor meeting as an aid-pledging conference.

A June 3 press statement from the Cambodian Embassy in Lon­don also referred to “$1.1 million in pledges” made by donors at the conference.


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