PHNOM PENH: On behalf of the President of the French Republic, Mr. Jacques Pellet, Ambassador of France to Cambodia, awarded the insignia of Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour “Chevalier de l’ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur” to H.E. Mr. Chheang Ra, Minister of Health of Cambodia, on February 1, 2024. The National Order of the Legion of Honour is France’s highest order of merit, created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. Foreigners may receive the honour if they have rendered services to France, or supported the ideals it upholds.
On the occasion of the presentation of these insignia, in the presence of the Minister’s family, high-level personalities and his colleagues from the Ministry of Health, the Ambassador underlined the extent to which H.E. Chheang Ra’s career embodied the indefectible link uniting France and Cambodia in the field of health, and more specifically in the hospital sector, due to the responsibilities he had held within the Calmette Hospital. After the Paris Peace Accords, this hospital was chosen as the national reference facility for France’s support in rebuilding the Cambodian hospital system. H.E. Chheang Ra worked there for over 25 years, from 1998 to 2023, first as Deputy Director General, then as Director General.
“Thirty years on, the objectives have been fully achieved, and H.E. Chheang Ra is one of the major architects of this success, thanks to his unfailing commitment and professionalism.” Mr. Jacques Pellet said.
The French Ambassador underlined the considerable progress made in Cambodia’s health sector since 1993, noting the country’s in-depth medical knowledge, highly experienced doctors and high-tech infrastructure and equipment.
For his part, H.E. Chheang Ra thanked France for its determined and constant support of the Cambodian health sector. The Minister cited several French personalities who, over the years, have contributed to significant progress in this field. For him, the progress achieved is the result of joint efforts and a source of shared pride. The Minister is also counting on the assistance of French experts, to pursue a “fluid and confident” health cooperation.
France is investing substantial human, technical and financial resources in improving global health to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. In Cambodia, its commitment currently takes the form of support for the training of medical students, with an average of 70 students trained in French hospitals every year, numerous academic partnerships and the mobilization of international technical experts in key institutions in the sector. France is also heavily involved in public health research, notably through French research institutions such as the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, the Institute for Research and Development (IRD), the National Agency for Research on aids, hepatitis and emerging infectious diseases (ANRS/MIE) and the Centre of International Cooperation in Agronomic research for Develomment (CIRAD).
Source: French Embassy in Cambodia