The Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation and UNICEF Cambodia have affirmed their dedication to enhancing collaboration in the improvement of sanitation and the provision of clean water.

This commitment was expressed during a call between minister Hem Vandy and UNICEF country representative Will Parks on October 10.

According to a ministry social media post, Parks reiterated his dedication to ongoing support for the clean water sector and the necessity of expanding cooperation to tackle challenges arising from climate change.

He emphasised that this collaborative effort is aimed at elevating the quality of essential water supply and sanitation provision while integrating climate resilience measures into these critical services.

“The organisation is also mobilising resources to support this work in Cambodia, including the development of a financing plan dedicated to improving water supply in rural areas, where access to clean water remains a major concern,” Parks was cited as saying.

In response, Vandy thanked UNICEF for sharing its mission regarding water, sanitation and hygiene in Cambodia.

He highlighted the pivotal role of clean water access, which is not only vital for daily life but also serves as a significant catalyst for the advancement of other sectors.

“To enhance hygiene and raise water quality standards, the ministry is prepared to cooperate with partners such as UNICEF to expedite the attainment of Cambodia’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pertaining to clean water and sanitation,” he said.

During the discussion, the Cambodian side also conveyed their anticipation that ongoing collaboration aligns with the ministry’s objectives outlined for the seventh mandate. This is expected to enhance the quality of life for impoverished and vulnerable individuals and bolster resilience by furnishing social protection and other advantages.

Phon Sokun, a member of the Cambodian Water Supply Association (CWA), voiced his support on October 11 for sustained partnership with international development organisations. He believes that such cooperation will further bolster clean water and sanitation provisions in the country.

“We recognise that UNICEF has a wealth of experience in clean water, sanitation and climate change. I anticipate that this support will enhance the expertise of our officials and clean water operators, equipping them with the skills to tackle the challenges in maintaining high water quality standards, meeting the evolving needs of the people,” he said.

According to the ministry, the government has outlined a strategic plan aiming to provide 100 per cent access to clean water for urban residents by 2025, with the broader goal of achieving universal access for all citizens throughout the country by 2030.