The Japanese government has provided $2 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to mitigate the impact of floods on food security in flood-affected households and communities in Cambodia.
The grant agreement was signed yesterday between Japanese Ambassador Mikami Masahiro and WFP representative and country director Claire Conan.
Masahiro said that last year, Cambodia suffered severe, continuous and torrential rainfall that affected many people, causing deaths and scores of physical damage to infrastructure.
“I sincerely hope this project will mitigate the impact of floods on food security in flood affected households and communities,” he said.
Under this project, the WFP will conduct a comprehensive food security and nutrition assessment in flood-affected areas, alongside the National Democratic Development Secretariat (NCDD) and other partners.
It will also support community recovery by repairing damaged infrastructure and enhancing local planning capacity and knowledge on food security as well as disaster preparedness and mitigation. The project will be implemented in 16 communes within the provinces of Battambang, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Thom.
Conan said this assistance will be critical to vulnerable families living in flood-prone communities, whose livelihoods and food systems were affected last year, and will help to protect them from future disasters. “We thank the Japanese government for its support to mitigate the effects of last year’s floods,” she said.
According to WFP, Cambodia has been affected by severe floods on four occasions over the last decade. Most recently, in October last year, 14,299 households were displaced while 176,000 households were directly affected (close to 800,000 people) in 14 provinces.
It said houses, infrastructure and agricultural land were inundated with water and severely damaged. The country ranked number 16 of 181 countries on the 2020 World Risk Index, highlighting its vulnerability to natural disasters.
Climate shocks such as floods and droughts frequently threaten communities in Cambodia, it added, and their frequency and intensity are likely to increase in the future. This is owed to the effects of climate change and the subsequent degradation of natural resources, which will disproportionally affect some of the most impoverished communities.
Since 1998, the Japanese government has been a significant partner to WFP Cambodia, contributing $22 million over the last ten years through both in-kind (rice and canned fish) and cash contributions in support of food security and nutrition.