Phnom Penh: In an impressive signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs on 1st February 2021, H.E. Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Royal Government of Cambodia, and H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Cambodia have signed 2 MoUs for construction of a 3-classroom building for Grades 1 to 3 and Grades 4 to 6 students at Kombol Primary School at Sangkat Kombol, Khan Kombol, Phnom Penh under Government of India’s Quick Impact Project (QIP) Scheme.
Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs recalled the cooperation between the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Embassy of India in Phnom Penh in implementing various QIP projects by her Ministry, including projects to promote women’s economic empowerment through ICT, facilitate the access of students, especially girl children, and improve their learning conditions through building latrines and new classrooms. The Hon’ble Minister thanked the Government and Embassy of India for providing grants for the construction of classrooms at Kombol Primary School in Phnom Penh and its continuous support and cooperation that has been extended to her Ministry. She also said that the objective of the cooperation is clearly in line with the overall goal of the National Educational Strategy and Plan to provide universal education to ensure inclusive and equitable access for all children in Cambodia.
In her remarks, H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of India recalled the age-old bonds of friendship, shared culture & heritage and explained the initiatives of the Government of India under various bilateral and multilateral frameworks, including under the Mekong Ganga Cooperation framework. She stressed the positive impact of such projects on the enhancement of overall bilateral relationship. She also added that it is her endeavor to support projects, which will have a direct impact on the lives of common people and expressed her wish to implement at least one project each in each of the provinces in the next 3 years.
Govt. of India has various programs with Cambodia including assistance programs that contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of Cambodia. One such program is the Quick Impact Programme (QIP) under the framework of Mekong Ganga Cooperation. The emphasis of QIPs is on short gestation high visibility projects, with a normal gestation period of up to one year, which directly benefit the local communities with results that are immediate and visible. The type of projects under QIP include creation or up-gradation of physical infrastructures such as roads, local community centers, water resource management, etc… and social infrastructure (including capacity building) such as in education, health, sanitation, child welfare, rural development, gender equality or community development sectors that fulfill Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Under QIP Scheme, the Government of India implements 10 projects every year in Cambodia by providing funding of up to USD 50,000 each per project. Since 2015-16, the Government of India has implemented 34 projects in the fields of agriculture, health, sanitation, women’s empowerment, capacity building, environment, etc… Out of 34 projects, 19 projects have already been completed and the remaining 15 projects are at various stages of execution. These projects have received an overwhelming response and created a distinct and visible impact among the beneficiaries.
The Government of India continues to support and collaborate with various Ministries, Departments of the Royal Government of Cambodia under the Mekong Ganga Cooperation framework for the socio-economic development of Cambodia and its people. The other initiatives under the framework are MGC Scholarships for Cambodian students to undertake Graduate, Post Graduate, Ph.D. degrees in prestigious Indian universities. At present, out of a total of 25 scholarships offered to Cambodian nationals, 10 scholarships are offered every year under MGC Framework. Also, India has constructed Mekong Ganga Cooperation Asian Traditional Textile (MGCATT) Museum in Siem Reap at a total cost of USD 1.7 million and has been assisting in the management and running of the Museum.
India has been always at the forefront of assistance to Cambodia’s demining efforts to mitigate the suffering of the common Cambodians who continue to become victims of mines from the war period. In 2020, the Government of India provided USD 1.5 million grant for procurement of demining equipment.
The Government of India has also been extending grants and Lines of Credit on very concessional terms to Cambodia for Water Development Projects, construction of electricity transmission lines, etc… which contribute immensely to the development of Cambodia. In 2018 both Governments signed an agreement for extending a Line of Credit of 36.92 million dollars by India for Stung Sva Hab Water Resources Development Project and the on-site work of the project is expected to commence soon.
Source: India in Cambodia (Embassy of India, Phnom Penh)