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Japan continues to improve lives after 20 years

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Japanese Ambassador HE Mikami Masahiro (fourth right) at the grant signing ceremony on January 19. SUPPLIED

Japan continues to improve lives after 20 years

Japan’s funding initiatives to improve the wellbeing of local communities in the Kingdom continues unabated even after two decades.

Its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects – designed to stimulate development to meet the basic human needs of people, especially in rural areas – has brought significant progress.

The Japanese government, under the grant assistance to Japanese NGOs, will provide $728,501 to three organisations to carry out their grassroots projects.

HE Mikami Masahiro, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Cambodia, and the representatives of the three recipients signed the grant contract on January 19.

The key undertakings include the “Project for Enhancing Medical System to Practice Pediatric Surgery” in Kratie province, which received $125,012 for three years.

The Foundation for International Development/ Relief will improve the paediatric surgical care system in Kratie through training the medical of staff provincial referral hospital and health centres, as well as village health volunteers, to improve the quality of surgical practice.

The transportation of patients will also be improved, while in communities, a better understanding of medical care will be created.

The project will benefit the medical personnel as well as the residents of the province who may require medical treatment.

Ambassador Mikami, at the signing ceremony for the grant aid on January 19, hailed the importance of the initiative.

“When I saw the patients who are being treated there and the cleanliness of the equipment, I felt it was good and meaningful support. I really appreciate the activities of the organisation over the years.”

“In the third year of the implementation of this project, the organisation will continue to train provincial medical staff, which started from the first year.”

“It also plans to implement other activities to strengthen the patient transport system in the province and circulate medical knowledge to the local people.”

“I hope that through this project children will be able to receive appropriate and on-time treatment,” said Mikami.

The second project is the community care and support network for children in Kampong Cham province undertaken by People’s Hope Japan (PHJ), which received $200,906 for over three years.

PHJ aims to reduce the under-five mortality rate and promote the healthy growth of children.

The NGO will continue to support the knowledge training of medical staff and health volunteers as well as expand their networks with the villagers in communities to achieve its goals.

PHJ will also provide nutrition education through cooking training to improve the knowledge of villagers who have young children and 4,669 children under five-years old will benefit.

The third project to improve to construct a primary school in Battambang province will undertaken by the Shanti Volunteer Association with $402,583 funding.

To improve learning and sanitation, the association will construct school buildings with attached libraries, toilets and hand-washing facilities at three primary schools in Battambang.

This will support the safe reopening of schools and enable students to return to learning smoothly after the end of the prolonged school closure.

Through this project, 1,140 students and teachers at the targeted schools will be able to study in a safer and more comfortable environment, and access to quality education.

“Cambodia has been developing rapidly lately, but there are still some challenges that need to be addressed to improve people’s quality of life, such as poverty reduction and social development, including health and the educational environment,” said Mikami.

The grant assistance initiative started in Cambodia in 2002 to support activities by Japanese NGOs to help the Kingdom’s reconstruction and development efforts at the grassroots level.

Japan has provided more than $45 million for 138 projects since then, mainly in assisting primary education, health, agriculture and mine clearance.

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