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Development aid: UK agency to shutter local office

Development aid: UK agency to shutter local office

Development aid
The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development will close its Phnom Penh office on January 31, in line with a new global review of the agency’s operations, representatives said yesterday.

Natalie Acton, DfID’s deputy director for Asia, stated the office is closing after a global review of financing showed the agency should “focus money globally to areas with greater concentrations of poor people and fewer funders”.

She said the agency cannot release information about where new offices will open or where DfID is redirecting funding until the review is complete. UK Ambassador Andrew Mace said the closure of the office was not an end to development aid from the UK, noting that several programmes will continue through DfID partners and through UK NGOs that work with Cambodian organisations.

Existing local partners, the World Bank, AusAID and USAID will administer ongoing programmes in health and poverty analysis. DfID’s office in Vietnam will also provide some oversight. DfID expects to disburse US$16 million to ongoing programmes in Cambodia in 2011.

“I am proud of the important contribution that DfID’s office has made to improving the lives of Cambodians through better healthcare, secure livelihoods and accountable local governance,” Mace said.

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