The European Union yesterday pledged an additional €6 million to the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance Programme, as the 10-year plan, first implemented in 2010, entered its second phase of development.
While Cambodia ranked as the most at-risk to climate change out of 116 countries studied in a 2014 Standard & Poor’s report, it also receives the highest international aid per capita.
In addition to yesterday’s EU contribution – bringing the total pledge to $12.3 million, with a commitment of € 149 million over the next five years – Sweden has also pledged a record $580 million to the Green Climate Fund, which will help back the EU pledge.
“Climate change remains one of the most significant threats to poverty eradication and increasing growth in Cambodia,” said Setsuko Yamazaki, the country director for the UN Development Program. She cited 2013 floods, which killed nearly 200 people and inflicted $365 million in damages.
Yamazaki laid out a four-point plan intent on combating disasters like flooding and protecting the rural poor from slipping back into the levels of poverty the nation endured 30 years ago.
However, protecting local communities will be difficult, said UNDP deputy country director Napoleon Navarro. “There are not enough people who can implement [these strategies] at the community level.”