Japanese loan

Japan Gives $185m Loan for Covid Recovery

The Japanese government provides a multi-million-dollar loan to help Cambodia’s social and economic recovery from Covid-19 as the country attempts to strengthen its ties.
Japanese Ambassador Mikami Masahiro and Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn exchange note agreement on January 12, 2022 at Peace Palace. Picture: Japanese Embassy Facebook.
Japanese Ambassador Mikami Masahiro and Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn exchange note agreement on January 12, 2022 at Peace Palace. Picture: Japanese Embassy Facebook.

Japan has pledged to provide Cambodia with a $185 million loan to spur on the nation’s recovery efforts from the pandemic.

“Through the effective utilization of this yen loan, it is expected that Cambodia's economy and society will recover more quickly due to the strengthening of the medical system and social support for the poor and vulnerable, and the provision of financial support to entrepreneurs, including small and medium-sized enterprises,” Japanese Embassy in Phnom Penh said in a statement on Wednesday.

The loan agreement for COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support was signed by Japanese Ambassador Mikami Masahiro and Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn.

Witnessing the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Facebook the loan will be used to support the implementation of the government’s policy in response to the health, social and economic impacts of Covid-19. There will be a special focus on social assistance for poor and vulnerable groups, such as those living below the poverty line, the elderly, women, children, and indigenous people.

The Japanese Embassy said the loan is in response to a request from the Cambodian government, with a view to strengthening cooperative relations between the two countries.

This loan is in addition to the 25 billion yen, or $227 million, given in January last year to serve for similar purposes, the embassy said.

“As Cambodia continues to develop its economy, it is important that the quality of life of each and every citizen of the country improves alongside national economic development. Japan would like to continue to support the Royal Government’s efforts by utilising a variety of economic and social development schemes,” the statement added.

Cambodia’s Covid-19 cases have slowed in recent months after positive cases found using rapid tests ceased to be counted. The total cases in the country stood at 120,684, including 16 community cases of Omicron variant, with 3,015 total deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

With Omicron already in the community, health authorities have urged the population to get booster shots.

“More and more Omicron cases are detected in the community and its transmission is ongoing now. Be ready and we can work together to prevent a larger scale of community transmission of Omicron by acting together to stop its circulation. Go for your booster dose asap!” Or Vandine, the health ministry spokesperson said on Twitter.

“Omicron is actively circulating in our community now. Everyone must be in compliance with the 3 dos + 3 don’ts + vaccination = to reduce as much as possible a wide community transmission, severity, and death. We can do this together to avoid health & economy disaster.”