Gavroche has selected some outstanding Cambodia news for you over the past week. An essential overview of the news for anyone interested in this Southeast Asian country.
Cambodian Health Ministry Secretary of State and Spokesperson Or Vandine urged the public to continue to exercise caution as Cambodia sees a surge in new COVID-19 cases. Forty-seven new cases were confirmed by PCR testing in the country as of July 30, bringing the total to 136,753, with 133,495 recoveries and 3,056 deaths, the health ministry said.
No new deaths linked to a pandemic have been reported since April, the ministry added.
Cambodia’s anti-Covid campaign to administer the fifth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the population and expatriates legally resident in the country continues to make slow progress. From the start of the campaign on June 9th through July 30th, a total of 480,083 people have received the fifth dose of the vaccine, choosing between the AstraZeneca, Sinovac and PfizerBioNtech vaccines.
The National Party of Cambodia (CNLP) is in turmoil. Its leader, Chiv Cata, said the party had been dissolved and urged its members to join the Cambodian People’s Party, but a senior party official says that’s not true. CNLP Treasurer Siev Visoth described the announcement as “a sneaky behind-the-scenes move”. “Cata had requested a two-month leave of absence due to mental health issues. The CNLP continues to function normally,” Siev Visoth said on July 31.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to Cambodia, the Philippines, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda from August 2-11, 2022. Foreign Minister Blinken will first travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on August 3-5 to attend the US-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum. At each ministerial meeting, the Secretary of State will underscore the United States’ commitment to ASEAN centrality and the successful implementation of ASEAN’s prospects for the Indo-Pacific.
Efforts to promote sustainable development in the context of Southeast Asia’s post-pandemic recovery are expected to top the agenda at the ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting in Cambodia next week. In addition to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, expanded sessions will be held in Phnom Penh with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum and other related events.
These events start on Sunday and end on August 6th. Cambodia holds the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Cambodia exported more than 2.4 million tons of agricultural products to China from 2019 to June 2022, generating gross sales of US$1.94 billion, according to Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon. The kingdom has shipped 24 kinds of agricultural products to China, it said in a Facebook post on Wednesday (July 20), adding that they will ship fresh bananas, ground rice, dried cassava chips, cassava starch, dried mangoes, fresh Mangoes and dried gum contain cashew nuts and cocoa powder.
The Cambodian government’s stimulus measures totaling $665 million have mitigated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gross domestic product (GDP), the unemployment rate, household income, consumption and the poverty rate, according to a new research report. The government introduced fast cash transfers for the first time in June 2020, among other stimulus measures, to counteract the impact of Covid-19 by transferring 700,000 of the poorest, most affected and pandemic-affected households into the Cash Transfer Program for the Poor and vulnerable households.
Cambodia’s poverty rate has fallen from nearly 40% in 2009 to 17.8% in 2020, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Planning. At a press conference to discuss the planning ministry’s achievements in five years, Theng Pagnathun, director-general of planning at the ministry, said the poverty rate has declined by 1.6 percentage points a year over the past decade, mainly due to increases in wages and incomes.
After the global outbreak of Covid-19, the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone has been working hard to secure production lines, and so far has attracted a total of 170 companies from Europe, the United States, China and Southeast Asia and created nearly 30,000 jobs. Speaking on the investment process at the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Education, Chhin Chien Kang, Chairman of the Board of Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, said that from January to June 2022, the export and import value to Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone fell, reaching US$1.3 billion, an increase of 38% compared to the previous year.
According to the Khmer Times, a published report on the situation of workers on the Cambodia-Thailand border revealed that more than 40,000 Cambodian workers have returned home from Thailand via the Battambang border in the past seven months. Local authorities said residents of Thailand’s bordering districts of Kamrieng and Phnom Proek entered the country illegally.
Manila-based Asian Development Bank (AfDB) and De Heus TMH Company Limited (DH-TMH) have signed a US$15 million loan to boost Cambodia’s agricultural feed sector by increasing storage and processing capacity in the province Feed Kampong Speu. Additional storage and acquisition of processing machinery will support the efficient production of animal feed. This will allow the company to source more local commodities such as corn, rice and cassava from smallholder farmers within its supply chain, enabling a supply of affordable, quality food for local ranchers and fish farmers. With investments in storage, corn can be stored longer, making the supply chain less dependent on climate-related vulnerabilities.
Heavy rains and gloomy weather have gotten farmers in Kampong Thom in trouble by causing flooding in nearly 2,000 hectares of rice fields. The floods affected five villages including Bo Peng Village, Khsach Chi Ros Village, Kampong Kor Leu Village, Kampong Kor Krom Village and Koh Krob Bai Village, all in Kampong Kor Municipality, Kampong Svay District, Kampong Thom lie.
Tourism, culture, sports
After decades of conflict and years of heavy poaching in Cambodia, the animals have disappeared, but the country plans to reintroduce the “big cats” from India for release in protected areas in hopes of rehabilitating the extinct species. The initiative of the Cambodian Ministry of the Environment and partner organizations officially launched the Zero Poaching Campaign in Mondulkiri Province on Friday, International Tiger Day.
Air travel is picking up in the post-pandemic era, and Bangkok Airways has announced the resumption of flights to nearby international destinations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma. The Thai airline will resume flights to Da Nang, Siem Reap and Yangon in August and September.
Daily direct flights between Bangkok and Siem Reap, Cambodia’s tourism mecca and home to the world’s largest religious complex, Angkor Wat, will resume on August 1. Flights to Myanmar’s former capital, Yangon, will also resume on August 1, despite the humanitarian crisis that has plagued the government since the military junta overthrew it last February.
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