Australia plans to provide about A$90 million (US$66 million) in funding to Cambodia for a new bilateral project dubbed “Resilience Economic Development”, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) on September 15.
The CDC said in a statement that the initiative would be implemented next year, adding that the island nation is committed to continue supporting financing for a number of other projects.
Plans were unveiled at a meeting on September 13 between Chhieng Yanara, secretary-general of the CDC’s Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board (CRDB) and Australian embassy deputy head of mission Andreas Zurbrugg.
Zurbrugg said in the statement that Australia would launch the project in 2022, with an initial duration of five years and a possible three-year extension.
“The project will focus on four priority areas: trade and investment, agriculture and processing of agricultural products, infrastructure and the social and gender inclusion,” he said.
Yanara, who is also a deputy prime minister, highly praised the Australian government’s efforts to prop up Cambodia’s socio-economic development during the Covid-19 outbreak.
“I would like to express appreciation to Australia for initiating a programme that is consistent with the strategic plan for socio-economic rehabilitation after Covid-19, with a focus on rehabilitation approaches, reform and resilience,” he said.
The CDC said Australia would also provide additional funding of about A$35 million to bankroll the purchase of three million doses of coronavirus vaccines through UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, to underpin the Cambodian government’s Covid-19 inoculation drives nationwide.
In addition, the Australian government will provide additional funding for two other initiatives, also planned for 2022-2027: some A$30 million for Phase II of the Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project (H-EQIP II) and about A$15 million for Phase II of the Implementation of the Social Accountability Framework (ISAF II).
Zurbrugg shared that Australia has provided about A$66 million in funding for 2021 to support development programmes that focus on security, health, resilience, the economy, agriculture and education.