Cambodian ministries are currently facing a $620 million funding shortfall if they are to implement their climate change adaption action plans by 2018, according to figures announced by NGO Forum at a press conference yesterday.
Fifteen ministries shared their action plans and funding requirements with NGO Forum researcher Long Sona, who reported that, collectively, their total funding needs were $865 million, of which just $245 million is currently available.
Of the 15 ministries surveyed, just two – the Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Handicrafts – reported having received full funding for their action plans.
Khieu Borin, general director of the Environment Ministry’s department dealing with grassroots communities, said that while he did not have precise figures, he was certain his ministry – which reported a 30 percent climate change funding deficit – was in need of extra funding.
NGO Forum’s Sona urged ministries to seek grants from external partners, but not to become reliant on donor funding. “For our long-term goals, we have to urge the government to assign funds from the national budget for this project,” Sona said.
NGO Forum Executive Director Tek Vannara urged those present to take action, saying that climate change has become a serious issue in Cambodia over the past two years, with 1.7 million Cambodians facing flooding annually.
“Cambodia will be [further] affected by climate change. Strong winds and rains are going to occur often, so climate change is a challenge . . . that threatens both social and economic development,” Vannara said.