The Asian Development Bank: Achieving the Millennium Development Goals is in Danger – Friday, 19.2.2010

Posted on 20 February 2010. Filed under: Week 652 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 652

“While within five years the global Millennium Development Goals should be reached, the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank said in a report on Thursday, 18 February 2010, that the global economic crisis had made Cambodia to walk ‘off track,’ and the government policies must focus on social welfare.

“Placing Cambodia together with Nepal and Laos, this report says that these countries are very much in danger due to a slow development process, which does not contribute to preventing poverty and child malnutrition.

“Cambodia walks ‘off track,’ not fulfilling more than half of the benchmark points listed in the global development goals, not fulfilling these Goals in seven of the eight Goals, which include to eradicate extreme poverty and the reduction of child mortality rates, to drop by two thirds of the 2009 rate by 2015.

“In 2003, Cambodia added one more Goal to the eight Millennium Development Goals, increasing their number to nine: the clearance of mines and unexploded ordnance and the aid for the victims.

“This report shows that only 20% of the Cambodia population were covered by any social protection projects. Only more than 1% of the GDP of Cambodia is spent on social protection measures, less than the
expenses in other countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.

“The vice president of the Asian Development Bank, Ms. Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, said on 18 February 2010 in a statement that most stimulating measures focus on other fields rather than on social protection. ‘If we want to solve impacts of the economic downturn and achieve the Millennium Development Goals, necessary expenses on social protection must be increased substantially.’

“Relating to these comments, the Director of the UN Development Program’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Ajay Chhibber, warned that if there is no better social protection, people will fall back into poverty again.

“Among the 21 development indicators in this report, Cambodia is making slow progress in 9 indicators, including registration at primary schools, completing school education, child mortality, malnutrition, and maternal health care during pregnancy.

“Based on this report, there is no progress regarding the accomplishment of environmental sustainability in forestry cover and carbon emissions absorption.

“Anyway, this report says that Cambodia had achieved some specific Millennium Development Goals, such as combating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and supplying clean water. Also, the gender equity goals at most schools will be accomplished.

“A parliamentarian from the Cambodian People’s Party, the chairperson of the Commission on Economy, Banking, and Audits of the National Assembly, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that the government made plans in the national budget to help people who have difficulties.

“He added that the government had asked the National Assembly to provide US$18 million in addition to help people in agriculture.

“He went on to say that Prime Minister Hun Sen had asked bank officials to increase loans with low interest rates for the public. The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, referred questions to the Council for the Development of Cambodia, but Secretary-General Sok Chenda could not be reached for comment.

“In an interview with the country representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Mr. Ajay Markanday, he said that it is necessary to concentrate on investments in agriculture.

“He added that to address food security problems and starvation in developing countries, it is really important to focus on the amount of investment to strengthen agriculture. And a sustainable solutions for food security must be found.

“He continued to say that public funds have to be provided to create jobs for members of the poorest in the society, mostly of those are living in remote areas.

“Mr. Markanday added that when the economy starts to recover, food prices will likely rise. He added that the impact of this problem on the levels of poverty and malnutrition depend on the capacity of a country to counter it, based on the achievement of economic growth through investments.” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1877, 19.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 19 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #414, 19.2.2010

  • The Government Allowed Siamese [Thai] Embassy Officials to Meet Their Prisoner [sentenced to serve twenty years in prison for planting landmines in Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2181, 19.2.2010

  • The Ministry of Information Advised Radio and Television Stations to Stop Reading Texts from Newspapers and Making Additional Comments
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Received a Medal for “Most Innovative Use of Technology During a Trial” [by the Law Technology News Awards magazine, based in the United States]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #606, 19.2.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Said to Arrest the Chief Drug Smugglers Is Better Than to Create Rehabilitation Centers [for drug addicts]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6888, 19.2.2010

  • The UN Human Rights Council Rejected the Global Witness Report about Illegal Logging [accusing that families of some Cambodian leaders to cut trees – according to an announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3812, 19.2.2010

  • The Asian Development Bank Warned that If Cambodia Does Not Make More Efforts, It Will Fall Into Serious Poverty

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #115, 19.2.2010

  • The Authorities Set a Deadline for Illegal Pharmacies to Ask for Licenses [according to the Ministry of Health, there are more than 2,000 pharmacies operating countrywide where more than 1,000 have no licenses]
  • Construction Projects Approved in 2009 Declined by More Than 47% [amounting to only over US$200 million, while in 2008, they amounted up to US$381 million]
  • The Anti-Acid Crime Draft Law Will Reach the Government after the Khmer New Year [for adoption and to be sent further to the National Assembly]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5120, 19.2.2010

  • Japan Promised to Provide Aid [of about US$20 million] for the Development of the Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos Triangle Zone
  • After a Woman Was Gang Raped, Her Hands and Legs Were Tied and She Was Then Drowned in a Sewage Ditch in the CAMKO City Construction Area [the perpetrators are not yet identified – Phnom Penh]
  • [The president of the Human Rights Party] Mr. Kim Sokha Guaranteed that He Will Provide Financial Support for [two] Villagers Imprisoned for Removing Temporary Border Markers [offering them money and rice amounting to about US$100 per month for each family]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1877, 19.2.2010

  • The Asian Development Bank: Achieving the Millennium Development Goals is in Danger
  • [The President of the National Assembly] Heng Samrin Sent an Opposition Parliamentarians’ Questions over Border Issues with Vietnam to [Prime Minister] Hun Sen to Respond

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

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Saturday, 19.7.2008: World Bank Granted US$30 Million to Cambodia to Support Big Health Projects

Posted on 20 July 2008. Filed under: Week 569 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 569

“Phnom Penh: The Ministry of Economy and Finance released information that the World Bank has provided a credit of approximately US$30 million to the Royal Government of Cambodia to support the Second Health Sector Support Program [HSSP2], which is a project to promote the health care of Cambodian people, especially it focuses on the health of women, of children, and of the poor.

“Senior Minister and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon, representing Cambodia, signed an agreement to accept the credit with Mr. Ian Porter, Country Director of the World Bank for Cambodia, on Thursday evening [17 June 2008] at the Ministry of Finance.

“According to an announcement of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the project to support the HSSP2 of the Royal Government of Cambodia will be implemented for a period of five years, and up to US$130 million will be spent in total. Now, the World Bank agreed to provide US$30 million, the Australian Agency for International Development [AusAID] granted US$30 million as grant aid, the Department for International Development [DFID] of Britain granted US$50, and the Royal Government of Cambodia contributes US$20 million.

“Senior Minister Keat Chhon said during the signing ceremony that this project aims to support the health strategies of the Royal Government, to promote accesses to, and to receive and to use efficient and qualified health services. He added that the project will be organized following a new mechanism by transferring and by supplying primary health services from non-government organizations to health staff at lower national levels.

“He continued that this project has been created to support the implementation of the 2008 to 2015 health strategic plan of the Royal Government, specifically, this project will contribute to help the Cambodian government to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in the health sector.

The three Millennium Development Goals in the health sector are (among eight goals):

4.Reduce child mortality
5.Improve maternal health
6.Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

“Professor Eng Huot, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health, said that over the past decade, the health of Cambodian citizens is improving significantly. The life expectation of men increased from 52 to 58 years, and for women from 56 to 64 years; infant and child mortality declined, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been arrested.

“He added that Cambodia still faces several big problems – the maternity death rate is high, the improvement of the malnutrition situation is slow, health services are expensive, health care is not qualified yet, and accidents and noninfectious diseases increase. He went on to say that now, because of the support through the credit granted by the World Bank and by many other development partners, we expect that these major problems will be reduced.

“Also, Mr. Ian Porter said that the World Bank has been involved to promote the health sector in Cambodia since 1996 through two projects: one project to get rid of infectious diseases, and another project to support the health sector. He continued that the Bank is very pleased to see the HSSP2 off the ground, in line with the Country Assistance Strategy for Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4645, 19.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 19 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1697, 19.7.2008

  • The Situation at the Preah Vihear Temple Sometimes Was Tough and Sometimes Was Not; Thailand Added More Troops; Thailand Put Sixteen Cannons on Top of a Mountain [500 meter to the north of Prasat Pagoda]; Thai Prime Minister Samak Summoned Supreme Military Commanders in Bangkok [18 July 2008]; Fighting Almost Broke Out on Thursday Evening [when Thai soldiers prohibited Khmer monks and nuns to enter a pagoda outside the area which Cambodia had claimed when applying for World Heritage Listing – now the Thai soldiers claimed that they are ordered to control it, but this confrontation was solved by both sides – the Khmer military commander at the Preah Vihear region, Mr. Chea Keo, agreed that the Khmer soldiers stay outside the pagoda during the night to avoid a confrontation]
  • The National Election Committee [NEC] Asks the Political Parties to Clearly Check Counting the Ballots
  • The Korea International Cooperation Agency – KOICA – President Promises to Support the Cambodian Requests [to the South Korea President, Mr. Lee Myung-Bak – Cambodia requests help for a water treatment plant in Siem Reap, the maintenance of National Road 33, National Road 31, and Road 117, a multi-purpose dam in Battambang, and the construction of bridges along the national roads]
  • [Nearly 100] Minority Montagnards Held a Demonstration for Their Freedom [in front of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office in Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh, after twenty nine Montagnards had been sent back to their home in Vietnam, after they failed in the interviews to be accepted to live in the USA]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #202, 19.7.2008

  • Samdech Euv [Father King] Thanks UNESCO for Listing the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site
    The National Election Committee Allows Political Parties to Propagandize in Markets


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #53, 19.7.2008

  • Two Political Parties [the Human Rights Party and the Sam Rainsy Party] Asked the Government to Lodge a Complaint [against the Thai invasion into Khmer territory]
  • [President of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun Appealed [on 18 July 2008] that the Council of Ministers Should Give Explanations Regarding the Preah Vihear Temple Issue [a statement of the Cambodia Watchdog Council expressed on 9 July also concerns about the confusion created by the government, creating a new map for the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple, that led to the intrusion of Thai soldiers into territory which Cambodia did not claim on the new map]
  • Is the Life of the Khmer Fishery Official [Mr. Phat Saroeun, who was shot dead by the Vietnamese navy when he and other officials tried to catch an illegal Vietnamese fishing boat in the Khmer sea off Kampot] Not Worth More Than Vietnamese Dong 5 Million? [on 17 July 2008, Vietnam sent the body of Mr. Phat Saroeun back, together with Dong 5 million – approx. US$300 – to the victim’s family, and returned another fishery official, who had been arrested during the confrontation]
  • It Is Not a Territorial Dispute, but an Invasion [editorial position of Khmer Sthapana]
  • Lutheran World Federation Cambodia Program Plans to Expand Its Help in Areas That Are Easily Negatively Affected and in Remote Areas [it has helped Cambodia to manage natural resources and to develop rural areas, considering the rights and the expressed interests of citizens in rural areas as the basis for its strategies]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4645, 19.7.2008

  • World Bank Granted US$30 Million to Cambodia to Support Big Health Projects
    Price of Oil Decreases to under US$130 [per barrel]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3363, 19.7.2008

  • What Do [Minister of Agriculture] Chan Sarun and [Director of Fisheries Department] Nao Thuok Do Regarding the Shooting of a Kampot Fishery Official to Death by Yuon [Vietnamese] Soldiers

?

Have a look at the last editorial – The struggle towards openness and access to information happens in many places – and it may help to mutually learn from other experiences.

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