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Top Official Appeals for More Donor Aid

Cambodian People’s Party Honorary President Heng Samrin appealed to aid agencies and governments Tuesday to continue their donations to the country, in order to strengthen democracy and development.

Heng Samrin spoke at a gathering of CPP officials marking the birthday of the Solidarity Front for the Development of the Cambodian Motherland, the group that originally formed in Vietnam to oust the Khmer Rouge.

He was also speaking a day ahead of an annual two-day Consultative Group meeting, where the government and donor countries and agencies meet to discuss aid distribution.

“I strongly hope that the international community will continue to help donate in the spirit of sharing the cause of peace, democracy and the development of Cambodia,” Heng Samrin said.

Cambodia is seeking at least $500 million in foreign aid, as talks begin Wednesday. Last year, in June, it received $690 million, mainly from the European Union, Japan, China and the United States. The World Bank, Asian Development Bank and some UN agencies are also donors.

“The government, Senate and National Assembly ensure sustainable development, poverty reduction, the promotion of the rule of law, and equity in social justice,” he said in a speech, “as well as the elimination of land-grabbing, deforestation, illegal fisheries resources and the prevention of the national income loss and the strengthening of public order.”

Yim Sovann, an opposition lawmaker for the Sam Rainsy Party, urged donors “to strongly consider corruption without law and the regression of democracy in Cambodia” before pledging money for Cambodia’s coffers.