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Development assistance in Cambodia

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Australia's development partnership with Cambodia

2024-25 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]

$48.9 million

2024-25 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]

$83.7 million

2023-24 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]

$47.9 million

2023-24 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]

$83.6 million

2022-23 total Australian ODA [actual]

$95.4 million

Australia and Cambodia are close neighbours, long-standing strategic partners and friends. Since helping to bring peace to the country in the early 1990s, Australia has provided over $1.3 billion in development assistance.

We are designing the new Cambodia Development Partnership Plan (DPP) to set out development priorities in line with Australia’s International Development Policy, which presents a long-term vision for how our development program will meet the critical needs of our partners, while also supporting Australia's national interests and the interests we share with our region. The Cambodia DPP will replace the Cambodia COVID-19 Development Response Plan, which focused on three key pillars – health security, stability and economic recovery. 

Pillar 1 – health security

To strengthen health security, Australia is promoting a more resilient Cambodian health system, better able to prevent, detect and respond to future health security threats, including future waves of COVID-19. Our health investments will help strengthen Cambodia's health systems, ensuring they are more responsive to the needs of vulnerable groups, including indigenous peoples, women and people with disabilities, and support equitable service utilisation.

Australia will continue to strengthen 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's global and multi-country health programs will improve health security by providing access to lower cost health products, reducing the burden of major diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and building Cambodia's capacity to sustainably deliver equitable services.

More information on health security in Cambodia.

Pillar 2 – stability

By providing targeted support for the development of Cambodia's social protection system, Australia will help to ensure all poor Cambodians, including those who have recently fallen into poverty due to COVID-19, can access public services (including free healthcare) 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 deepen 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. We will seek to improve services for vulnerable groups and activities that address the needs of women, children, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities throughout Cambodia's COVID-19 recovery.

More information on stability in Cambodia.

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.

More information on economic recovery in Cambodia.

Our results

COVID-19 development response

  • Australia played an important role in helping the Royal Government of Cambodia contain the COVID-19 outbreak and avoid the worst of the initial health crisis. With partners, we provided 2,681,224 free outpatient services to poor Cambodians through the Cambodia Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project during 2020.
  • Australia helped support a safe, effective and equitable COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Cambodia with the donation of 2.35 million doses of the Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine and 480,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech paediatric COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Australia supported an improvement to vaccine cold chain management across Cambodia with a donation of 33 ultra-low temperature freezers (-80 degrees Celsius) and 100 freezers (-20 degrees Celsius) and other essential cold chain equipment.
  • Australia provided vaccine preparation and delivery support including communication and training as well as support to manage and track adverse events following immunisation and strategies to address barriers disadvantaged groups may face in accessing vaccines.
  • Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) provided technical health advice to support Cambodia's Ministry of Health.
  • Australia supported Cambodia's Ministry of Health to procure medical equipment and ambulances to boost provincial COVID-19 response capacity.
  • With partners, Australia contributed 12,197 COVID-19 diagnostic sets and equipment for the treatment and transportation of COVID-19 patients, including 110 ventilators, 31 mobile X-rays, 80 ambulances, 370 patient monitors, and 46,000 bio-hazard waste bags. This equipment was provided to the National Institute of Public Health and the Capital Provincial Departments of Health to allocate and distribute to health facilities according to needs.
  • With partners, Australia contributed to upgrading the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Siem Reap and Battambang provincial referral hospitals to biosafety level 2+ (necessary for PCR testing). We also installed additional polymerase chain reaction machines capable of COVID-19 testing at the National Blood Transfusion Centre and NIPH.
  • Cambodia's national poverty register (IDPoor) – developed over ten years with Australian funding – was used to determine eligibility for the Royal Government of Cambodia's COVID-19 emergency cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households, which have reached 2,725,911 people, including 1,457,162 women and 100,149 people with disabilities. An evaluation of this cash transfer program showed it contributed to Cambodia's GDP growth by up to 0.55% in 2020 and to reducing the poverty rate by 3.4% in 2021.
  • 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 that these groups could access vital services during and after 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 developed research studies on the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, including education, microfinance, urbanisation, agriculture, tourism, and business. The results of these studies are being used by the Ministry of Economy and Finance to inform policy responses to the pandemic.
  • Australian-funded NGOs and their local partners pivoted their programs to help local communities recover from the economic damage caused by the pandemic.

Other program highlights

  • Australia provided 960 women and girl survivors of violence with gender-based violence (GBV) support services, such as counselling.
  • Australia supported the Ministry of Women's Affairs to establish six provincial and 21 district GBV networks. We also trained 2,988 service providers on the Domestic Violence Law and other relevant GBV service standards.
  • Australian support improved the quality of services at six physical rehabilitation centres and assisted 3,959 people with disabilities (47 per cent women) to access COVID-19 support through the national social protection cash transfer program.
  • Australia co-financed the connection of clean, piped water to 60,525 Cambodians in 2020 (206,564 to date over the project life) and provided 26,744 Cambodians with access to grid electricity (121,000 to date over the project life).
  • Australian assistance has 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 and expanding rural incomes.
  • Australia contributed to the clearance of 11.42km2 of land contaminated by landmines and other explosive remnants of war, making new land available for productive use, including agriculture, for 28,979 people.
  • Australia is supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia to develop its first renewable energy strategy.
  • Australia awarded 29 postgraduate scholarships to Cambodian women and men working in government, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries, education, human resilience, gender equality, and public policy.
  • In 2021, Australia commenced a new five-year partnership with the World Bank to strengthen Cambodia's public health system at both the national and local levels, enabling the Royal Government of Cambodia to deliver better quality services, including to Cambodians living in poverty, women, and people with disabilities.
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