Sharman Stone, Australia’s ambassador for women and girls, will today kick off a two-day visit to Cambodia, where she will meet women leaders from government and civil society, according to a statement from the Australian embassy yesterday.
The statement said that Ms Stone would use her visit to see first-hand the difference Australian aid programmes were making for Cambodian women and girls.
“Ms Stone will meet with the founders of the new Bong Srey initiative, which will provide job listings and referral services to low-skilled workers, many of whom are women,” the statement said.
It added the Bong Srey initiative had received funding through the Australian government’s Business Partnerships Platform announced by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in November.
Ms Stone will also visit a garment factory to see how Australia is supporting organisations to provide family planning and reproductive health services for Cambodian women.
Cambodia and Australia established diplomatic relations on January 15, 1952.
Australia played a crucial role in the Cambodian Peace Process in the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly its leading role in the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia from 1992 to 1993.
As the third largest bilateral donor to Cambodia, Australia has maintained a strong commitment to the kingdom’s development.
Despite a 40 percent decrease in its overall overseas aid to Asia in its 2015-2016 budget, Australia’s assistance to Cambodia slightly increased to approximately $59 million in 2015.
Its assistance focussed primarily on infrastructure and trade, agriculture and rural development, health, education and good governance.