Japan has provided a grant of $1.175 million to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) for Emergency Covid-19 Response to support Cambodia in building a resilient and responsive healthcare system.

The grant is aimed at ensuring that vulnerable populations in key target areas have continuous access to quality Sexual Reproductive Maternal and Neonatal Health (SRMNH) services and information during the pandemic, according to a May 7 joint press statement.

The grant is part of the $9,259,141 supplementary budget that was last year provided to the UNFPA for an emergency response to the pandemic in 13 countries across four regions – Asia and the Pacific, the Arab States, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Western and Central Africa.

UNFPA Cambodia used the grant to work closely with key ministries, particularly the ministries of Health, Women’s Affairs, and Education, Youth and Sports to focus on the provision of life-saving equipment such as ambulances in the northeastern provinces.

UNFPA Cambodia will also focus on strengthening the capacity of the healthcare workforce and enhancing the provision of SRMNH services.

Improving access to essential SRMNH information and services for vulnerable populations – including young people and gender-based violence survivors – through the use of innovative digital platforms is also a target of the funding.

Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami said that ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and information is imperative for protecting the lives, dignity and safety of women, newborns and young people.

“The Government of Japan is committed to supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia in its response to the Covid-19 crisis and recovery.

“We are confident that our contribution through UNFPA will have a significant and sustainable impact – particularly on vulnerable populations – and will accelerate progress towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3, which relates to the health and wellbeing of all, and Goal 5, which relates to gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls,” he was quoted as saying.

Golden Mulilo, UNFPA representative in Cambodia, said he was grateful to the people and the government of Japan for the timely and generous support.

“It will help us to build a resilient and responsive healthcare system in Cambodia and ensure vulnerable populations have access to quality SRMNH services and information during this unprecedented global pandemic,” he said.