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Monday, February 1, 2010

Korea provides grant aid to Cambodia avoid overlapping with other donorcountries (English Version)

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Korea provides grant aid to Cambodia avoid overlapping with other donor countries

KOICA News Release: trainslation from local newspaper
Kohsantepheap Daily:
Year 43 Volume 6872, Monday, February 1, 2010

Phnom Penh: Last January 29, 2010, at the KOICA Office in Cambodia, KOICA orginized the press meeting on “KOICA ODA” to inform the projects’ aid which were provided to Cambodia.

The press meeting was informed that KOICA was a Korean government’s agency responsible for Official Development Assistance to developing countries. KOICA’s programs can be broadly classified as human resources cooperation programs such as Invitation of Trainees, Dispatch of Experts and Korean Overseas Volunteers (KOVs) and development cooperation programs such as Development Study, Project-Type Cooperation, etc.

The outlook for aid in the near future looked positive following South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s announcement at the 2009 ASEAN-Korean Commemorative Summit that the country pledged to double its volume of aid to ASEAN countries by 2015. KOICA hopes that the president’s pledge will translate into a large increase in Cambodian aid. In 2008, South Korea gave Cambodia $13.1 million in aid and $30 million in loans.

Objectives of the assistance to Cambodia were to reduce poverty in Cambodia and support continuous economic growth by combining development strategy of Cambodian government and Korea’s Country Assistance Strategy.

Strategies of the assistance to Cambodia were to share Korea's development experience and integrate comparative advantages in ODAs, avoid overlapping with other donor countries. Advanced countries are focused on institutional reform such as good governance and democracy, so KOICA focuses on sectors that affect ordinary people directly. KOICA's sectoral priorities in Cambodia are Rural Development, Healthcare, Education, and Infrastructure.

The main purpose of this meeting was to give a better understanding of KOICA’s ODA in Cambodia, which has been carried out since 1991. During the meeting, KOICA presented the presentation on KOICA’s ODA in Cambodia. In particular, during the field visit, KOICA  invited to meet with Korean volunteers in the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) of the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) and visit project sites such as “the Project for Flood Control in Batheay Region”, and “KOICA-JICA Joint Program for the Rehabilitation of Irrigation System and Rural Community Development”.

First, KOICA said that it dispatched Korea nationals to partner countries to share expertise, knowledge, and experience in order to make practical contributions to their socio-economic development. An important part of Korea's grant aid program, since it encourages the exchange of human resources. In November 2001, Korea and Cambodia agreed on the Exchange Notes for the dispatch of Korea Overseas Volunteers. So far, there are up to 204 KOVs sent to Cambodia, 68 still working in Cambodia. Department of Korean Studies located within the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) offers a Bachelor of Arts in Korean Studies and short course. The B.A. and short course continue to receive support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Since 2004, KOICA has dispatched six (6) volunteers to work in IFL as Korean language teachers. Currently, we have three (3) volunteers who teach 2 classes of B.A with 60 students. Those volunteers also prepared office of Korean language, library and some necessary materials in order to provide more effectively in teaching Korean language.

Second, KOICA  introduced the “Project for Food Control in Batheay Region”: The objective of this project is to improve agricultural infrastructure in the region by establishing new irrigation canals linked from the existing dike to the farmland so that those living in the Project area can cultivate crops during the dry season; enhance agricultural productivity and promote income of the people in the region through enlarged arable land and steady supply of irrigated water; build capacities of farmers for effective management of water resources in the area by providing them with the appropriate mid and long-term water management plan and educating FWUC (Farmer Water Users Community).  This project was implemented two times, first phase from 2007 to 2008 with the total cost of 2 millions USD, second phase from 2009 to 2010 with total cost of 2.5 millions USD with the beneficiaries to the  30,500 people of 5,650 families, 20 villages of 2 communes.

Third, KOICA presented the “KOICA-JICA Joint Program for the Rehabilitation of Irrigation System and Rural Community Development”: The program with the total cost of approximately 300,000 U.S dollars co-financed by JICA and KOICA was focused on two sectors: 1st the improvement of water resources infrastructure and capacity building of the farmers for effective water management through trainings and the support to the establishment of Farmer Water Users Community (FWUC); 2nd “Agricultural Farming Development for Income-Generating Crop for Village Rural Community Development” by setting up the program of the training courses entitled “Agricultural Techniques Training for Rural Householder Income Generation” at the Village. The training helped the people in getting additional knowledge and skill in agriculture production and particularly enabled them how to have sustainability in producing and solving to respond, prevent and mitigate disaster in their communities.


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