Development assistance in Cambodia
Overview of Australia's development program to Cambodia
- 2020-21 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
- $43.4 million
- 2020-21 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
- $66.1 million
- 2019-20 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
- $66 million
Pillar 1 – Health security
Australia is a leading public health partner in Cambodia, and we recognise the need to build Cambodia’s capacity to respond to potential future outbreaks. Australia will continue enhancing the quality of public health services and help Cambodia maintain services during COVID-19 recovery.
To address health issues at the critical interface between people, animals and the environment, Australia will bring together Australian and Cambodian scientists and researchers. Australia will strengthen and support the sustainability of Cambodia’s national vaccination system and support equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Australia will make it possible for one million Cambodians to connect to clean piped water, complemented by improvements to accessible and inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene services for the most vulnerable Cambodian women, children and men. Australia will support Cambodian Government and civil society partners – including representatives of marginalised groups – to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Pillar 2 – Stability
By providing targeted support for social protection system development, Australia will help to ensure all poor Cambodians, including those who have recently fallen into poverty due to COVID-19, can access public services and social protection schemes, thereby underpinning social stability. Australia will look for opportunities to expand our work to support gender and disability inclusive social protection systems and policy.
Australia will support initiatives to promote more transparent and responsive governance and deepening civil society engagement with a focus on initiatives that help protect and promote the human rights of Cambodian citizens. Australia will work to generate ideas to refine and reform public policies and services. We will support human resource development and strengthen policymaking in Cambodia. Our support is helping Cambodia strengthen its education system and improve learning outcomes for children. We will seek to improve services for vulnerable groups and activities that address the needs of women, children, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities during the pandemic.
Pillar 3 – Economic recovery
Australia will provide technical advice and assistance for measures and policies that will support economic recovery, including economic modelling of COVID-19 impacts on growth, employment and poverty, and policy response assessments. Australia will support construction safety standards, and assist Cambodia to develop and implement building codes that save lives, improve disability access, and adhere to regional standards.
Australia will scale up efforts to boost agricultural production, diversify crops and increase value addition. Australia will champion alternative financial services tailored for women in rural areas. We will also support rural development through ongoing investments in land-mine clearance.
Australia will create public-private partnerships with small and medium-sized businesses to make new infrastructure schemes possible. We will promote improved household and industrial water management. Australia will link smallholder farmers to markets, increasing profits and productivity while improving environmental sustainability.
Australia’s development efforts are set out in Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response.
COVID-19 development response
- Australia played an important role in helping the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Cambodia avoided the worst of the initial health crisis.
- Australia supported Cambodia’s Ministry of Health to procure medical equipment and 20 ambulances to boost provincial COVID-19 response capacity.
- Cambodia’s national poverty register (IDPoor) – developed over ten years with Australian funding – was used to determine eligibility for the RGC’s COVID-19 emergency cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households, which have reached more than half a million households per month.
- Australia provided 1,700 tablet computers to Cambodia’s Ministry of Planning, which were used to register households that had slipped into poverty due to COVID19 for emergency support.
- Specialist Australian advice supported Cambodia to maintain food security and resolve supply chain issues in the face of COVID-19 disruption.
- Our assistance ensured the rights of people with disabilities and women experiencing violence were considered in response activities and could access vital services during the pandemic.
- Australia worked with Cambodian partners to distribute personal protective equipment and sanitary supplies to disadvantaged groups, people with disabilities and women experiencing violence.
- With Australian funding, Cambodian think-tank partners launched research projects into the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local community to inform public policy responses.
- Australian-funded NGOs and their local partners pivoted their programs to help local communities stay safe.
Other program highlights
- In 2019, Australian support enabled poor Cambodians to receive 2.9 million free healthcare services. This support will also ensure continued access to key health services during the pandemic.
- Australia co-financed the connection of clean, piped water (critical for handwashing amid the pandemic) to 140,000 Cambodians.
- Australian assistance built irrigation schemes providing 12,000 Cambodian farmers with year-round access to irrigated water, enabling more than 100,000 tonnes of extra paddy to be grown.
- Australia contributed to the clearance of 8.87km2 of land contaminated by landmines and other explosive remnants of war, making it available for productive use including agriculture.
- Australia supported Cambodia develop a package of legislation to combat proliferation financing, a Renewable Energy Master Plan and protocols for improving construction safety.