Hillary Clinton promises more aid for Lower Mekong countries

    Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge on the Mekong River. Photo by: Axel Drainville / CC BY-NC

    Five Asian countries will receive additional U.S. aid over the next two years through new programs in the environment, health and education sectors.

    The $50 million package was announced by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while attending an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Cambodia. The assistance will support a series of new projects under the Lower Mekong Initiative, a multinational effort created by the United States in 2009. It covers Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and, most recently, Myanmar.

    The new programs, which will be implemented under the LMI 2020 banner, include the following:

    • Mekong Partnership for the Environment — a regional program that aims to advance equitable and sustainable prosperity in areas around the Mekong watershed.

    • Control and Prevention of Malaria — a U.S. Agency for International Development-led initiative that seeks to control the spread of malaria in the border regions of Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia.

    • Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative — a partnership betweenUSAIDand the Harvard Kennedy School that seeks to strengthen education cooperation across the region.

    • Mekong River Commission support program — a direct assistance scheme by USAID to strengthen MCR’s capacity.

    • Empowering Women in the Lower Mekong Region — a USAID-led initiative to strengthen the leadership skills of women in Cambodia and provide funding opportunities for women professionals in the region.

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      Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.