The United Nations Development Programme announced at a workshop yesterday that it was launching a five-year programme to help rural families across 13 provinces deal with the future impacts of climate change.
The UNDP’s Small Grants Programme will fund at least 30 projects, which are geared toward making rural communities self-sufficient in mitigating climate change factors.
Speaking at the workshop yesterday, Elena Tischenko, country director for UNDP Cambodia, said it was necessary to diversify rural incomes in the event of natural disasters.
“Extreme climactic events such as floods and droughts are already recognised as one of the main contributors to poverty in Cambodia,” said Tischenko. “About 90 percent of the economic loss due to climate hazards – either droughts or flood – is related to crop harvest failure.”
Chheng Kimsun, chief of the Forestry Administration, said yesterday that the incomes of rural populations were at risk because of their reliance on the agricultural sector.
“Now we need to make the effort to ... increase funding to make way for adaptation programs to respond to climate change in our country,” he said.
Chheng Kimsun added that 82 local non-governmental and community-based organisations have been funded since 2005 by the UNDP’s small funding mechanism.