Phnom Penh, 17th December 2020 – With support from the Australian Government, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has handed over critical protective equipment and sanitation materials to the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 and to facilitate cross-border trade during and post COVID-19 pandemic.

Included in today’s handover was personal protective gear for frontline officers, along with sanitation materials ranging from infrared thermometers, thermal imaging cameras, and sprayer for shipments fumigation. These urgently needed items will be disbursed by GDCE to its key cross-border checkpoints namely at Poi Pet, Bavet, Phnom Den and Phnom Penh International Airports Customs and Excise branch.

UNDP and GDCE have been working together since the onset of the pandemic to keep borders open for cross-border trade activities, including exports and imports, and to meet evolving COVID-19 sanitary trade and health and safety measures. This has included the rapid assessment at three mentioned checkpoints and Phnom Penh international airport Custom and Excise branch on the challenges and constraints hindering the flow of cross-border trading activities, as well as the risks imposing to associated persons working at the borders. As the pandemic continues, however, efforts to keep the door open for the flow of commodities and to maintain sanitary conditions for all physical goods to prevent delays and backlogs remain of paramount importance.

“As in line with the RGC’s preventive measures in response to COVID-19 , the protective equipment and sanitation materials provided by UNDP and Australian Government are significantly important and much needed in time of such crisis. In addition to the equipment and sanitation materials, the GDCE also benefits from the key measures recommended by the UNDP report for enhancing GDCE’s prevention practices at border checkpoint to manage associated risk and facilitate the international trade,” highlighted H.E. Dr. Kun Nhem, Delegate of the Royal Government in charge of the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia.

 “Keeping borders open for safe trade activities during the pandemic is essential. Beyond a critical COVID-19 response effort, the provision of protective equipment and sanitation materials will also support Cambodia’s ability to build back better and further strengthen its trade relations with neighboring countries,” commented UNDP Resident Representative, Nick Beresford.

“COVID-19 has severely disrupted global trade, affecting food security and access to essential supplies. Along with providing critical equipment, Australia is supporting the General Department of Customs and Excise to enhance and implement health and sanitary protocols at key borders. This helps ensure Cambodia remain safe and open to trade, assisting its economic recovery” said Australian Ambassador to Cambodia Pablo Kang.

This handover is part of the joint effort by GDCE, the Australian Government and UNDP to implement the “Facilitation of COVID-19 Sanitary Trade and Health and Safety” project. The project contributes towards ensuring sanitary conditions for all physical goods passing through Cambodia’s borders.

Ends

For media inquiries, contact Mr. Im Samruol, UNDP Cambodia’s Communications Analyst, at samruol.im@undp.org.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at https://www.kh.undp.org/ or follow us at @UNDPCambodia.

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