Thursday, June 21, 2007

Foreign donors pledge $689 mil. in aid to Cambodia in 2007 and its controversy

United Nations and International Community is still expressing their sympathetic attitude and kindness to Cambodia. This year the aid for poor Cambodian people boasts up to 689.2 millions including free donation and loan (especially from China). New age of glabalization and modernization, the theory of pyramid economic and the diversity of divergence and convergence have urged all developed nations to share its wealth from their people's taxation to support those poor countries. Only sharing happiness, so that the world can experience true happiness.

Importantly, this huge aid is absolutely the ongoing promise that they made in the Paris Peace Agreement. If we don't have Paris Peace Agreement, we cannot be legalized and sympathetized like nowaday.

International donors are using their compassion towards Cambodia like parent and children. When a child is growing, they can see its innocent, ignorance and change. According this method, that why they continue to aid Cambodia. However, those aids are doubled-edge sword for Cambodia:
  • Cambodia is playing its role in the world community as a begger, not a donor
  • Cambodia's international diplomacy is only bowing down in front of them, not share with them the commonality
  • Those aids are tricky, in this world is hard to find pure aids without their influences and vice versa in our nation and integrity
  • Those aids are not totally free, Cambodian young generation have to pay back this huge debt especially peasants, workers or low officers..etc in the long, long period of time
  • Aids without transparency and the continuing centralizing of power maneuvered by PM Hun Sen and his cohort will create only social gap, corruption and dictatorship

Cambodia should learn and develop himself not to depend on internationa aids in developing its country. Cambodia is rich of natural resources, if we utilize its correctly and fairly, Cambodian people will experience real progress and peace.



Released : Wednesday, June 20, 2007 7:50 AM

PHNOM PENH, June 20-(Kyodo), International donors have pledged $689.2 million in aid for Cambodia's development efforts in 2007, Finance Minister Keat Chhon said Wednesday.

The pledge was made in the Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum in Phnom Penh, the ninth of its kind since 1996. "This is a success in both quality and quantity," the finance minister said at a press conference.

Keat Chhon co-chaired the two-day conference with Ian Porter, the World Bank's country director for Cambodia.

Of the $689.2 million, the European Union pledged the largest amount at $170.2 million, followed by Japan at $112.2 million, China at $91.5 million, the United States at $48.8 million and 11 U.N. agencies at $64.8 million. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank pledged $62.6 million and $74.7 million, respectively.

Keat Chhon said it is the first time China has participated in a donors' forum and pledged assistance for Cambodia.

More than 100 representatives from 16 donor countries, 11 U.N. agencies, and international financial organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund participated in the annual Consultative Group Meeting, now called the Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum.

The group has met annually since 1996 and Cambodia has received foreign aid worth about $3 billion excluding the latest pledge, an average of $500 million per year -- almost half the government's annual budget.

In last year's meeting, donors pledged an aid package of $601 million for 2006. The increase of aid for 2007 was due to the new pledge by China.

A Western diplomat who attended the meeting told Kyodo News that the Chinese assistance will be provided in loans, not grants.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, in his opening address to the conference on Tuesday, promised to get his government "in touch" with several hot issues including the fight against corruption, land disputes, judicial reform, deforestation and good governance, over which his government has often been criticized by the donors.

But Hun Sen also trumpeted his country's economic growth in recent years. "During the last three years, economic growth has reached unprecedented rates, on average of 11.4 percent per annum," he said.

Donors praised Cambodia for progress in certain areas but urged it to do more.

On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Joseph Mussomeli said progress has been made particularly in the health sector but much more needs to be done by the government. "The Cambodian people would like to see more," he said.

Prior to the meeting, both national and international nongovernmental organizations and Cambodia's opposition Sam Rainsy Party issued separate statements calling on foreign donors to put pressure on the Cambodian government to carry out more reforms.

Cambodia is one of the world's poorest nations. Per capita income is less than $1 a day and 35 percent of its 14 million population live below the poverty line.

Copyright 2007 Kyodo News International, Inc.
Provider:Kyodo News International, Inc. / Japan Economic Newswire

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