United States Pledges $31.5M Grant to Cambodia for Fighting HIV/AIDS, Improving Other Health Programs
The United States on Tuesday pledged a total of $31.5 million in grants to Cambodia for health and education programs, including $29.5 million for fighting HIV/AIDS and promoting family planning, Xinhua News Agency reports. The remainder of the funding will go toward the country's Ministry of Education. Cambodia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong and U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Charles Ray signed the two grant agreements on Tuesday. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen also attended the ceremony, according to Xinhua News Agency (Xinhua News Agency, 8/3). Cambodia has the highest HIV prevalence in Asia, with an estimated 2.6% of its population -- or 157,000 people -- living with HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports. According to the United Nations, the country also has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the region (Reuters, 8/3). The majority of the funding will go toward programs to reduce infant mortality, prevent infectious diseases and promote maternal health, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. Cambodia is recovering from years of conflict, which formally ended in 1998. The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh said in a statement that the funding also will help Cambodia improve access to sexually transmitted disease services; implement social marketing for condoms; and reintegrate street children into homes, according to AFP/Yahoo! News (AFP/Yahoo! News, 8/2). The grants will be used by Cambodia through Sept. 30, 2006 (Xinhua News Agency, 8/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.