For Immediate Release
September 23, 2021
USAID/Cambodia announced an additional $5 million grant to improve the conditions of the health of Khmer Rouge survivors through a project entitled, “Advancing the Rights and Improving the Conditions of the Health of Khmer Rouge Survivors” which will be managed by the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam). The additional grant brings the activity’s total value to $6.5 million.
“We are proud to support this project. The U.S. government has a long-standing commitment to promoting peace and national reconciliation through Khmer Rouge historical remembrance,” said U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy. “The project will help provide access for Khmer Rouge survivors to health care and document health conditions and concerns, socio-economic conditions, and the experiences during the Khmer Rouge period.”
The new activity will conduct field research on survivor welfare conditions and translate the findings into public awareness campaigns. It will conduct activities that improve the health, welfare, and wellbeing of Khmer Rouge survivors, nationwide.
￼“The tragedy and injustice suffered by the Cambodian people under the Khmer Rouge regime was so great that nothing can truly replace or compensate them; however, this effort is one significant step forward in truly helping and supporting the survivors of genocide,” said Youk Chhang, DC-Cam Executive Director.
“This grant is unique in that it includes a 500-person strong, nationwide volunteer service that will support local survivors in their visits to community health clinics. It gives youth an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and selfless service in support of survivors of the Khmer Rouge and to the Cambodian nation while providing survivors opportunities to share their story of struggle during the Khmer Rouge period with the younger generations to ensure we never forget those years. In short, the program will highlight our shared humanity and reinforce the resilience of the Cambodian people.”
Examples of the new activities plans include the establishment of a limited fellowship program for medical, mental health, public health, and nursing students. The activity will also set up a DC-Cam-run volunteer service in support of survivors.
Reaching all 25 Cambodian provinces, USAID works with Cambodian and international partners to implement a range of programs that benefit all Cambodians. Our work focuses on strengthening democratic governance and human rights; improving health and nutrition; supporting education and child development; increasing agricultural production and food security; conserving forests and watersheds; and helping farmers and households adapt to and mitigate the impact of natural hazards.
The Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) was founded by Yale University and constituted in 1995 after the U.S. Congress passed the Cambodian Genocide Justice Act in April 1994, which was signed into law by U.S. President Clinton. The Royal Government of Cambodia also formally supported DC-Cam. DC-Cam has received numerous accolades and awards for its work in support of memory and justice for victims of the Cambodian genocide. In 2017 alone, DC-Cam was the honored recipients of the Judith Lee Stronach Human Rights Award from the Center for Justice and Accountability, and his Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni made Youk Chhang a Commander of the Royal Order of Cambodia in recognition of Chhang’s distinguished services to the Kingdom of Cambodia. In 2018, DC-Cam also was a winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards, which is regarded as ‘Asia’s Nobel’ prize, for preserving historical memory for healing and justice.