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Friday, August 21, 2009

Cambodia announces plan to build country's biggest prison

Phnom Penh - The government has approved a plan to build Cambodia's largest prison, capable of holding 2,500 inmates, national media reported Thursday.

Cambodia currently has 24 prisons with a combined capacity of 12,500 prisoners. Many jails are overcrowded.

Heng Hak, the general director at the Ministry of the Interior's prisons department, told the Cambodia Daily that inmates would learn skills such as farming and animal husbandry.
'One of the most important functions in government prison reform is to make a big change in prisons from a place of punishment to a place of education and vocational training centres for prisoners,' he told the Cambodia Daily newspaper.

Heng Hak said the grounds of the new centre, called Correctional Centre 4, or CC4, will cover 846 hectares in Pursat province.

'It will be the biggest prison [in Cambodia],' he said. 'We expect that CC4 will be a key tool in resolving the matter of overcrowding.'

Australia is providing support for CC4 through its government aid programme. The project's corrections adviser, Cheryl Clay, told the Cambodia Daily that the new prison would have five sections capable of holding 500 inmates each.

Clay said the vocational training programmes would help to cut violence and aggression.

'This is a way for providing some meaningful skill development and meaningful activity, and is an accepted way of creating an avenue for more income for the prison,' she said.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Japan provides loans to develop Cambodian Sihanoukville port

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Japan on Thursday provided 72 million U.S. dollars in concession loans to develop Cambodia's Sihanoukville port to expand its capacity.

"The fund is to improve the capacity of Sihanoukville port, the only international deep sea port in Cambodia, by constructing multipurpose terminals including a bulk terminal and oil supply base, and developing infrastructure related to the terminal at the port," Hor Namhong, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation told reporters.

The minister signed the exchange note with Shinohara Katsuhiro, Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, with the presence of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

It will also help contribute to industrial development and economic growth in Cambodia. And it is the third time that Japan has helped Sihanoukville port since 1999 aimed at improving handling capacity of containerized cargos, Hor said.

Japan also provided about 10 million U.S. dollars non-project grant aid for promotion of economic and social development efforts in Cambodia, Hor said, adding that since 1993, under the type of grant aid, Japan has extended to Cambodia a total amount of 187 million U.S. dollars.