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Monday 18th of December 2017

Thai Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Justice presented Assistance Fund to Cambodia

          On 15 December 2017 at 10.30 hrs., H.E. Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Justice, on behalf of the Royal Thai Government had an official visit to the Ministry of Interior, Phnom Penh, the Kingdom of Cambodia to present the fund in total of THB 38,011,400 to Cambodia for the construction of the National Drug Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre at Stung Hav District, Sihanoukville Province under the Thailand-Cambodia Project on Strengthening and Enhancing Treatment and Rehabilitation Cooperation. H.E. Kao Khondara, Acting Chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (ministerial level), was represented on behalf of the Kingdom of Cambodia to receive the said assistance.

           Since early 2017, the Cambodia’s National Anti-Drug Campaign has resulted in the increase in number of drug users who need appropriate treatment and rehabilitation programme. However, the national capacity in providing such services is insufficient. Therefore, the Cambodian Government requested the Thai Government for the support, and the Thai Cabinet approved the fund to support the construction of 4 buildings of the Centre, including Healthcare Service Building, Female Residential Building, Male Residential Building, and Vocational Training Building. Apart from Thailand’s support, Cambodia also received funding from its asset forfeiture fund, donation from private sector, the public, and other countries.

           Thailand’s assistance to Cambodia will greatly contribute to the increase in effectiveness of Cambodia’s drug control, as well as, the decrease of drug threats and negative consequences, as well as, public health problem, illegal immigration, and crimes along the Thailand-Cambodia borders. It is also in line with the Thai Government’s policy under the leadership of H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister of Thailand, which focuses on promoting international cooperation, especially, with its neighbouring countries by mutual and reinforcing development while leaving no country behind. Moreover, this assistance also helps to protect the ASEAN member countries from dangers of drugs in accordance with the ASEAN Work Plan on Securing ASEAN Community against Illicit Drugs (2016-2025). In the 3rd Thailand-Cambodia Joint Cabinet Retreat Meeting (JCR) at Phnom Penh on 7 September 2017, Thailand’s Prime Minister expressed his pleasure to support in principle the construction of the Centre to Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padey Techo Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, which has eventually led to this Handover Ceremony.

            This Ceremony was witnessed by honourable guests including the heads of national drug control agencies and executives from concerned agencies of both countries, namely, Pol.Gen. Meas Vyrith, Secretary-General of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), Mr. Sirinya Sitdhichai, Secretary-General, NCB, Mr. Chlaisin Bodhicharoen, Deputy Secretary-General, NCB,

            Dr. Paskorn Chaivanichsiri, Deputy Director-General, Department of Medical Services,

            Dr. Sarayuth Boonchaipanitwattana, Director of the Princess Mother National Institute on Drug Abuse Treatment (PMNIDAT), as well as, representatives from the Royal Thai Embassy, Phnom Penh namely, Mr. Darm Boontham, Minister, Acting Thailand’s Ambassador to Cambodia and more than 100 guests from various Embassies in Phnom Penh.

             Later at 14.00 hrs., Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Justice paid a courtesy call and had a discussion with Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Interior of Cambodia. In this occasion, the Thai side expressed its great pleasure for close cooperation and relations between the two countries in the fields of drug control, security, and other relevant aspects. The Thai Deputy Minister reiterated government policy to support the construction of the Centre, including relevant training programmes and knowledge exchange on various aspects as requested by the Cambodian side, and also promoted existing cooperation frameworks, such as, White Twin Villages, Border Liaison Offices, as well as, the host of Safe Mekong Operation Project to be taken by Cambodia. In response to concerns over Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand, the Thai Deputy Minister reassured the Cambodian Deputy Minister that the Thai Prime Minister has always emphasised on providing decent welfare to all migrant workers to the best of our ability. Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng conveyed his deep gratitude for all the support of the Thai Government while also wished to receive continued support, especially on training and exchange programmes in the future.

           Prior to the Handover Ceremony, on 13-14 December 2017, Mr. Sirinya Sitdhichai, Secretary-General, NCB together with other ONCB executives, representatives from the Department of Medical Services, and the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh paid a study visit and attended a briefing on the progress of the Centre Construction Project in Stung Hav District, Sihanoukville Province, Kingdom of Cambodia. In this occasion, Pol.Gen. Meas Vyrith, Secretary-General of NACD led the visit; meanwhile, Pol.Lt.Gen. Thong Sukhontea, Deputy Secretary-General of NACD, gave the briefing. The Centre has the area of 20 hectares, and the construction phase 1 is expected to be completed in 2018 and can accommodate more than 1,000 drug user patients.