Japan Signs $154m Pact for Regional Hospitals

SoK Chenda Sophea, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received KOMURA Masahiro, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, for bilateral discussion on Mar. 13. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

PHNOM PENH – Japan and Cambodia have signed off $154 million in loans to develop regional hospitals and expand treatment for rural people.

The projects respond to an increase in sickness and deaths from non-communicable diseases.

The Yen Loan project is in the form of loans for infrastructure development and other necessary funds, with low interest rates and long repayment periods. 

The notes were signed by Komura Masahiro, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Sok Chenda Sophea, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on Mar. 13 in Cambodia. 

The gap in healthcare services between the capital and provinces remains large in Cambodia, therefore, closer medical services and physical access are needed in provinces, especially rural areas, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“Most hospitals, except for the national hospital in the capital, cannot provide diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases such as malignant tumors, cranial nerve diseases, and heart diseases,” it said.

The loan aims to close the gap by improving access to advanced medical treatments in rural areas with necessary facilities and equipment. This will turn provincial hospitals into regional hospitals with advanced medical care, starting with Siem Reap and Kampong Cham provinces. 

“This project can be positioned as a high-priority project in Cambodia's national development plan, which emphasizes rural development,” the ministry added. 

Both sides also discussed regional and international issues of common interest and concern, and were optimistic to continue working closely in bilateral and multilateral frameworks for regional peace, security and prosperity.  

On the same day, Masahiro met Prime Minister Hun Manet and said the Japanese Government would continue working with Cambodia to strengthen sectors such as trades and investments, industry, tourism, digital, national defense and security.

Masahiro will also attend the International Coordination Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of Historic Site of Angkor, known as ICC-Angkor/Sambo Prei Kuk in Siem Reap province. 

His attendance was a model of international cooperation on conservation and heritage protection, he said. 

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