Japan To Hand Over More Aid for Water, Road Projects

Japan’s secretary of state for the Foreign Ministry arrives today in Cambodia to sign more aid money over to the government and to oversee groundbreaking ceremonies for a Siem Reap road project.

Kiyohiro Araki will hand over more than $1.1 million for a water supply project in Phnom Penh and a road rehabilitation project for National Route 7.

Phnom Penh’s population is expected to increase 5 percent annually, which will increase demand for clean water. The $526,000 Phum Prek Water Treat­ment project would increase the capacity of the existing water treatment facilities by 42 percent, according to a statement from the Japanese Embassy.

A $614,000 grant will go toward fixing the Moat Khmung bridge and a section of Route 7, both located east of the Mekong River in Kompong Cham province. The bridge was damaged during recent flooding, and Route 7 needed repairs even before the flooding. The would eventually be a key overland route for trade between Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Araki will join Prime Minister Hun Sen and other officials at groundbreaking ceremonies for a $12 million, 17.5 km road project along Route 6 linking the town of Roluos to Siem Reap town.

Sin Khandy, chief of cabinet for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said Route 6 would eventually become a 300-km link of smooth roads between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The road is part of a master plan to improve facilities for Angkor Wat visitors.

Araki will also pay a courtesy call to Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.

Japan has been a steady donor to Cambodia’s infrastructure projects, despite some appropriation problems. Japanese legislators have called for reductions in foreign aid packages to help alleviate the country’s own budget problems. But no aid programs have been cut to date.



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