Australia will provide a grant of AUD 35.7 million (approximately US$ 28 million) for the rollout of WHO-approved vaccines in Cambodia, according to a joint press release from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Australian Embassy.
Australia’s grant is likely to enable at least 1.5 million Cambodians to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This contribution will significantly assist the Royal Government of Cambodia to meet its goal of vaccinating 80 percent of the population against COVID-19 as soon as practicable.
While the majority of Australia’s support will be used to purchase vaccines for Cambodians, the package will also support the Royal Government of Cambodia to distribute and administer vaccines, to monitor the safety and efficacy of vaccinations, and to ensure Cambodians have access to clear information about the vaccination process.
“As a neighbour and longstanding friend of Cambodia, we are pleased to be able to lend a hand in this time of need,” said H.E. Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia. In recognition that nobody is safe until everyone is safe, our support is likely to help vaccinate at least 1.5 million Cambodians and will go a long way towards supporting widespread access to WHO-approved vaccines in Cambodia.
Although Cambodia has so far avoided serious health impacts from the pandemic, widespread vaccination remains critical for preventing future outbreaks and rebuilding economic activity.
“We are grateful for Australia’s support which will help us meet critical needs of our people and economy. We applaud Australia and her people for their solidarity and commitment in jointly fighting against this pandemic, so that we can recover and prosper together,” said H.E. Dr. Aun Pommoniroth, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Economy and Finance.
Australia’s vaccine support package for Cambodia is in addition to the AUD 66 million (approximately US$ 50 million) of development assistance that Australia will deliver in Cambodia during 2021 under the Cambodia-Australia COVID-19 Development Response Plan, which was launched in December 2020.
“Our regular development cooperation funding will focus on supporting Cambodia’s socio-economic response to the pandemic,” said Ambassador Kang “Implementing the vaccine will complement that work and help to put our shared region on a path to recovery.”
“Provision of this vaccine support reiterates Australia’s sustained support and long-term commitment to our socio-economic development and our promising future,” said Deputy Prime Minister Pornmoniroth. This support will be in addition to the vaccines Cambodia will receive from the multilateral COVAX facility, which will cover up to 20 per cent of Cambodians for free and to which Australia has also made a significant contribution.
Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen this morning also noted this tremendous Australia’s support to Cambodia.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed his deep thank to all contributors to the vaccines for 60 to 70 of the total population.