Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - GIZ’s work in Cambodia aims to respond to real local needs

GIZ’s work in Cambodia aims to respond to real local needs

Dr. Thomas Preston, of the Centre for Livestock and Agriculture Development, explains the processes of a biogas generator at the site of an aid project in Cambodia partly-funded by GIZ.
Dr. Thomas Preston, of the Centre for Livestock and Agriculture Development, explains the processes of a biogas generator at the site of an aid project in Cambodia partly-funded by GIZ. Photo supplied

GIZ’s work in Cambodia aims to respond to real local needs

Germany’s international development organization, the GesellschaftfürInternationale Zusamenarbeit (GIZ), plays an active role in promoting reconciliation, social justice, sustainability, and good governance in Cambodia.

Germany’s reunited nation understood the importance of democracy and the fragility of peace. German chancellor Helmut Kohl’s government sought to promote tolerance, reconcile differences, and forge a better future for the unified nation. These principles were seen as defining Germany’s developmental mission in the developing world.

GIZ began its mission to support social development and economic growth in Cambodia in 1994. It operates as a standalone organisation on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Decades after the Khmer Rouge regime fell, Cambodia still struggled to heal the scars of its painful past, not least the loss of so many of the intellectuals the country so needed for its reconstruction. GIZ cultivated a strong relationship with the newly established Cambodian government, built on the core elements of mutual trust, consultation, and a shared investment in Cambodia’s future.

GIZ’s work in Cambodia aims to respond to the needs of Cambodian people, helping them recover from years of political strife and poverty. GIZ’s Phnom Penh office employs 160 Khmer nationals and 50 foreign staff. Their current programs focus on health and social security, and rural development. Within these two domains, GIZ runs a broad spectrum of initiatives that include work on food security, sustainable infrastructure, governance and democracy, and rural and social development.

One of GIZ’s current projects is Economic Growth, Falling Poverty, a program that recognizes the vulnerability of those who live just above the poverty line and are at risk of losing financial security. The initiative supports the rural poor through the facilitation of sustainable business and employment opportunities. The creation of new jobs and strengthening of established industries empowers communities to increase their income and create a network of economic infrastructure, reducing poverty in some of Cambodia’s most vulnerable communities.

GIZ also addresses maternal and infant mortality, through its Improving Maternal-Child Health program. The project improves the quality of emergency medical care for mothers and children. The program provides resources for training, coaching, and mentoring health care staff so they are equipped to deal with childbirth emergencies and have the knowledge to diagnose disabilities and illnesses in infants.

A 2008 white paper expresses Germany’s commitment to effect positive change at a global scale. “More and more people are recognising that development policy is not only important for the developing countries but is beneficial for us as well. Equitable globalisation, worldwide stability and peace are in everyone’s interests.

“People want to know what contribution their government is making to eradicating poverty and injustice in the world. They are asking whether they will still be able to live in peace and security in future, and they are urging their government to shape the ongoing process of economic globalisation in a way which benefits humankind as a whole.”

Since securing a permanent office based in Phnom Penh in 2001, GIZ’s has helped Cambodia improve its governance, promoting accountable, efficient, and transparent administrative systems. GIZ’s support in the domain of economic development has helped lower the poverty rate in Cambodia from 53 percent in 2004, to well below 20 percent in recent years. GIZ has helped reduce infant mortality and fostered gender-responsiveness in the judiciary. It’s also improved the security of land rights in rural communities.

German diplomats believe that investing in developing countries means investing in the future strength of their own nation, too.

Fostering international relations goes beyond securing alliances with countries at the forefront of the global market.

It means looking ahead to a future where nations who receive Germany’s support now will one day become allies and trading partners of the leading European nation.

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors