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US Begins $77 Million Health Program

The US Embassy on Thursday launched a new five-year health program, allotting $77 million over five years to combat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and infectious diseases.

Cambodia has seen improving health indicators in recent years, the US Embassy said in a statement, but maternal mortality rates and tuberculosis remained a concern.

The US health program "is designed to help address many of these challenges in order to improve the health of all Cambodians, especially the poor and vulnerable," US Ambassador Carol Rodley said in remarks Thursday. "This program builds on over 15 years of successful work and collaboration in Cambodia, and it reaffirms the continued commitment of the United States to improve the health of all Cambodians."

The money, through USAID, will be distributed to government and non-governmental health agencies, including the Ministry of Health, the University Research Company, Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia and Cambodia Reproductive and Child Health Resource Center.

"USAID assistance at this time is a very important contribution to the development of the health capacity and public capacity of the health system," Health Minister Mam Bunheng said Thursday. "Our country still faces enormous challenges, and there are many requirements in all sectors."