Cambodia, Australia Discuss Bilateral Development Cooperation

Cambodia and Australia have discussed the priorities on bilateral development cooperation and the progress of the Cambodia COVID-19 Development Response Plan (CDRP 2020-2022) as well as the future development initiative programmes for Cambodia.

The discussion took place through videoconference on Sept. 13 under the chairmanship of H.E. Chhieng Yanara, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CRDB/CDC), and Mr. Andreas Zurbrugg, Deputy Head of Mission of Australian Embassy and colleagues.

According to a CDC’s press release, H.E. Minister Chhieng Yanara warmly welcomed and expressed his congratulation to Mr. Andreas Zurbrugg on his appointment as the Deputy Head of Mission of Australian Embassy in Cambodia and Head of Australian Aid Programme in Cambodia. H.E. Minister highly valued the achievements made in the implementation of the CDRP 2020-2022 which have strengthened partnerships and contributed to the sustainable and inclusive development of Cambodia.

Mr. Andreas Zurbrugg expressed his pleasure to begin his mission in Cambodia and highly valued the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) efforts and achievements made for the development of Cambodia to date. At the same time, Mr. Zurbrugg also highly valued and appreciated CDC for excellent cooperation and close partnerships with the Australian Government and committed to further strengthen such cooperation and partnerships as achieved in the past years.

In the meeting, Mr. Zurbrugg emphasised the supports of the Australian government through providing approximately AUD 66 million in Official Development Assistance in 2021 to support its programmes focusing on Health Security, Economic Resilience, Agriculture and Education. On top of that, Mr. Zurbrugg also flagged the meeting about the formulation of the new bilateral "Resilience Economic Development" Project with financial support of around AUD 90 million for the next five years period, starting from 2022 with additional three years extension. The project will focus on four key priority areas: 1) Trade and Investment, 2) Agriculture and Agro-processing, 3) Infrastructure and 4) Gender and Social Inclusion.

In response, H.E. Minister Chhieng Yanara highly appreciated the efforts made by the Australian Government in supporting Cambodia socio-economic development especially during the COVID-19. H.E. Minister appreciated the initiative programmes which are well consistent with RGC's COVID-19 Socio-Economic Recovery Plan that focuses on three approaches: Recovery, Reforming and Resilience. H.E. Minister also praised the progress of programmes and projects including Investing in Infrastructure (3i), Cambodia Australia Agriculture Value Chains II (CAVAC II) as well-reflected in the progress of CDRP 2020-2022 implementation.

In addition, Mr. Zurbrugg indicated an additional grant financing of proximately AUD 35 million to procure around 3 million doses of vaccine through UNICEF and WHO to support RGC's effort in the Nation-wide Vaccine roll-out plan. Mr. Andreas also emphasised the additional support to Health Equity and Equality Improvement Programme Phase II (HEQIP) around AUD 30 million and Social Accountability Framework Project Phase II of around 15 million for the next five years.

In conclusion, H.E. Minister expressed his sincere thanks to the Government and people of Australia for supporting Cambodia's socio-economic development, especially Australia's firm commitment to provide safe and effective vaccine to Cambodian people.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press