Remarks by wuyunyi

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									                                         Remarks
                             by Sr. Minister Keat Chhon, MP
                            Minister of Economy and Finance
            At the Signing Ceremony for the UK's Budget Support Programme
                and the Multi-donor Budget Support Partnership Principles

                  Ministry of Economy and Finance, 13 February 2008

H.E. Mr. David Reader, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Cambodia;
H.E. Mr. Shinohara Katsuhiro, Ambassador of Japan to Cambodia;
H.E. Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno, Chargé d’Affaires a.i, European Commission;
H.E. Ms. Nisha Agrawal, Country Manager, the World Bank;
Colleagues of the Royal Government of Cambodia;
Distinguished Guests;
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Today we gather here for the signing ceremony of two important documents namely:
   (i) the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Royal Government of
        Cambodia and the United Kingdom for the UK’s Grant of £ 7.5 million (about US$
        15 million) for the Poverty Reduction and Growth Operation (PRGO), and
   (ii) the Partnership Principles for the Multi-donor PRGO Programme between the Royal
        Government of Cambodia and the four external Development partners, namely, the
        United Kingdom, Japan, the World Bank, and the European Union.

It is my great pleasure and honor to represent the Royal Government of Cambodia for the
signing of the two documents.

PRGO is a multi development partner funded program which aims to support the Royal
Government of Cambodia to achieve the goals stated in the National Strategic Development
Plan (NSDP) by focusing on three broad pillars: (1) Public Financial Management, (2)
Private Sector Development, and (3) Land and Natural Resource Management.

In the framework of PRGO, we have already reached agreement with three development
partners, namely the World Bank, European Commission and Japan. Including the UK, the
total committed PRGO budget becomes around 70 million USD for the period of 2007-
2010.

This budget support and the PRGO Partnership Principles also reflects the increased
development partner harmonization and alignment of development partner policy positions
and financial support to the Royal Government of Cambodia in pursuance of a more
effective and substantive implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
This budget support by the Development Partners will ensure strong and greater ownership
and leadership by the Royal Government of Cambodia in the implementation of its own
policy and development agenda envisoned in NSDP.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me take this opportunity to recall that the Royal Government of Cambodia has achieved
significant economic growth and remarkable progress in poverty reduction. The percentage
of people living below the poverty line has declined to 35% in 2004, down from an
estimated 47% in 1994. We also believe that there has been further significant reduction
during the last three years. The achievements, both in economic growth and poverty
reduction, have resulted from the clear policy direction of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei
Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and the involvement of
various development partners, private sector, civil society, and other stakeholders.

We understand that the support for PRGO is a pilot step to test the joint commitment of the
recipient and development partners in the context of aid effectiveness by providing financial
support through the government system. Therefore, together with the PRGO Partnership
Principles which we have just signed, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, on behalf of
the Royal Governme nt of Cambodia, would like to strongly reassure its commitment on
maximizing the value of money from our development partners’ support and ensuring that
spending is directed for the intended purposes , being accountable for the expenditures, and
taking every possible measures to prevent fund leakage. We are committed to the effective
utilization of all development assisatnce to ensure that the benefits flow to the poor in the
country.

In conclusion, let me take this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government of
Cambodia, Cambodian People and my own behalf, to express my sincere gratitude an d
heartfelt appreciation to the United Kingdom and British people for their continued
generous support and assistance to help develop our Country. My sincere gratitude and
thanks are also due to the other development partners for their strong support to strengthen
the effort of the Royal Government of Cambodia in reducing poverty of the Cambodian
people.



Thank You for Your Attention!

								
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