Five UN agencies have reiterated their commitment to collaborating with the Council of Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) and offering support to the government’s working groups in the fields of food security and nutrition, as part of the UN Sustainable Cooperation Development Framework (UNSDCF).

The agencies are the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Senior Minister Ouk Rabun, CARD Chairman, met with representatives of the agencies on September 26 at the Council of Ministers’ headquarters.

Joseph Scheuer, UN resident coordinator, explained that the UNSDCF will support the successful implementation of the government’s Pentagonal Strategy, and aims to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while preparing Cambodia for a smooth transition from the status of Least Developed Country (LDC).

The agencies’ representatives confirmed their commitment to working with CARD, particularly to improve the Kingdom’s foods systems and reduce malnutrition.

During the meeting, Rabun praised the UN institutions for their ongoing support and contributions to Cambodia’s socioeconomic development. He described the establishment of the UNSDCF as especially beneficial to the Kingdom, as it strives to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic while remaining on track with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“This cooperation framework will facilitate Cambodia’s objective of exiting the category of LDC by 2027, while advancing progress towards the SDGs. The alignment between the UN development goals outlined in the UNSDCF and the country’s development priorities is a testament to the synergy between the two, and mirrors the government’s Pentagonal Strategy,” he said.

Hong Vannak, an economist at the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s Institute of International Relations, underscored the essential role of development partners – particularly UNICEF, UNIDO, WFP, FAO and WHO – in the nation’s socio-economic development.

“These partners have made significant contributions to Cambodia’s development since the 1990s. UNTAC played a pivotal role in supporting the nation during the 1993 general election, and various other UN-funded organisations have continued to actively assist the Cambodian government and people, with numerous positive outcomes,” he explained.