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This month, the United States and Cambodia signed amendments to 2 bilateral agreements that will provide $34.8 million in 2009 funding to support Cambodian priorities in health and education.
U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Carol Rodley presided over the September 8th signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Phnom Penh. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Flynn Fuller, United States Agency for International Development [USAID] Mission Director, signed on behalf of their respective governments.
"I am pleased to be here to reaffirm the commitment of the American people to investing in the health and education of the Cambodian people," Ambassador Rodley said.
"By working side by side with our colleagues in the Cambodian government, we've helped stem the tide of HIV/AIDS, improve the quality of basic health services, and enhance the relevance and availability of education for thousands of youth."
The amendment to the first agreement consists of $31.6 million in grant funds to achieve health objectives. Funds will be used to promote a variety of activities to reduce the transmission and impact of HIV/AIDS; to prevent and control major infectious diseases such as tuberculosis; to fight avian influenza and other influenza-like illnesses; to improve maternal, reproductive, and children's health; and to strengthen Cambodian public-health systems.
The amendment to the second agreement will provide $3.2 million in grant funds to support the Cambodian government's education objectives. These funds will support the launch of a new program that will build on USAID's ongoing education program, which is improving the quality and relevance of basic education and increasing access to schooling for all children, including minorities, people with disabilities, and the very poor.
Activities will also focus on reducing school dropout and repetition rates through improvements in teaching quality, school-management training, and measuring student academic achievement. The total amount of direct, bilateral assistance through all foreign assistance accounts is $65.1 million in fiscal year 2009; of which USAID assistance accounts for $59.9 million.
The United States is committed to working with the government of Cambodia to help provide better education and health care to the Cambodian people.