Phnom Penh, 07 May 2021 –  On Friday, the Australian Government signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to contribute an additional AU$4 million to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on Cambodia’s economy and people, starting immediately.

This contribution will top up the Australia-UNDP ‘Resilience Fund’ – a flexible mechanism that has already been providing targeted support to Cambodia’s socio-economic response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

To date, the Fund has played an important role in rolling out Cambodia’s emergency cash transfer program, which has so far delivered US$290 million into the pockets of the poorest 693,000 Cambodian households during the pandemic. For example, Australia and the UNDP have supported this critical Royal Government of Cambodia program by procuring 1,700 computer tablets to identify hundreds of thousands of families impacted by COVID-19 who have become eligible for support. The Fund also worked with the Ministry of Economy and Finance on modelling and analysis of impacts of COVID-19 to inform stimulus packages to support the most vulnerable

The Resilience Fund has facilitated the continuation of safe cross-border trade through the provision of critical protective equipment and sanitation materials to Cambodia’s General Department of Customs and Excise. The Fund has also helped small businesses connect with online e-commerce platforms to keep operating during lockdown and participate in the digital economy long-term.

“Australia has been the stand-out leader in fast and effective development assistance – and they have done this through smart adaptive programming. Together we’ve managed to react quickly to this crisis, providing support to the rapid scale up of social assistance to those who need it most, and protecting trade and livelihoods too,” said Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative.

“COVID-19 poses urgent challenges for Cambodia’s economy and the livelihoods of its people. As a long-term partner and friend, we want to do whatever is possible to soften these impacts, particularly for the most vulnerable. Working with the UNDP, we are also boosting funding to support the work needed now to position Cambodia to make a rapid and inclusive economic recovery from the pandemic” said Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia.

The additional AU$4 million will fund further work to strengthen social assistance, support local businesses to adapt to pandemic-related difficulties, and other priorities identified through consultation with the Royal Government of Cambodia and civil society.

 

For media inquiries, please contact:

-        Australian Embassy Cambodia at Australian.Embassy.Cambodia@dfat.gov.au

-        Mr. Im Samruol, Head of Communications, UNDP Cambodia at samruol.im@undp.org

 

UNDP is the United Nations' global development network and is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working 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.

The Australian Government is a longstanding development partner to Cambodia, contributing AU$71.5 million in support in 2020-21 through our COVID-19 Development Response Plan for Cambodia. Follow the embassy at @AustralianEmbassyPhnomPenh.

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