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World Bank Will Give Cambodia a $10 Million Grant

The World Bank said Friday it will give Cambodia a $10 million grant to streamline foreign investments, develop technology to facilitate trade, reduce opportunities for corruption and develop new export markets.

In a statement the World Bank said it will provide the project funds through its International Development Association, which gives low-interest loans and grants to over 80 impoverished countries. Cambodia contributes $330,000.

Cambodia has just recently recovered from three decades of conflict and is considered one of the world's poorest and most corrupt countries.

In a study prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) last year, it's estimated $300-500 million are lost to corruption annually.

Cambodia's foreign donors have criticized the government over the past year for failing to curb corruption and have said future aid will be tied to efforts to root out graft.

Nisha Agrawal, the bank's country manager, urged Cambodia to take the necessary steps to improve its investment climate and reinvigorate its prospects for growth.

Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said this project will help Cambodia enhance market access, employment growth, and ultimately, greater poverty reduction.