Officials Ask Vietnam to Help Pay for Drug Rehab Center

The Vietnamese government will invest in Sihanoukville’s first community-based drug rehabilitation center after leaders from the two countries’ drug control authorities met in Hanoi this week, according to a Cambodian official.

Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), said Vietnamese officials had agreed to help fund the construction of the center and provide medical supplies.

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An overhead view of Trapaing Chhouk village in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district, which was riddled with drug dealing and use for years. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Mr. Vyrith said the amount of financing would be confirmed next week when the two countries sign a memorandum of understanding.

Cambodia’s request for investment follows a formal fundraising event for the same center last week in Phnom Penh for private sector moguls.

Two oknhas have already signed up: Mong Reththy, who donated 20 hectares of land in Preah Sihanouk province, and Royal Group chairman Kith Meng, who set up an association to raise private-sector funds.

The government pledged at the end of last year, as it launched a crackdown on drugs, to create new drug rehab centers as part of an effort to provide drug users with support rather than imprisonment. Authorities have now arrested 6,956 people since January, Mr. Vyrith said.

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