Australian Ambassador to Cambodia Angela Corcoran recently visited Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri provinces to discuss development programmes aimed to improve health and education access.
During the visit from June 24 to 26, the ambassador met with Mondulkiri Governor Svay Sam Eang, Ratanakiri acting Governor Muong Pang and civil society organisations working in Ratanakiri to discuss the implementation of Australian development assistance programmes in the area.
“The ambassador noted that Cambodia’s rapid growth was presenting many opportunities, including in the north-eastern province,” a statement from the Australian embassy said. “She also noted that it would be important that there were policies in place to make sure all parts of the community benefited from the economic growth, and that the regions’ unique environment and cultural heritages were protected.”
According to the statement, among the programmes discussed include maternal health, the Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project, IDPoor programme and the community policing initiative.
The ambassador also discussed community development and education programme for ethnic minorities that Australia is funding through non-governmental organisations in the provinces.
In Cambodia’s northwest, Australia is working closely with remote indigenous communities to provide multilingual education and community development.
“Australia’s support in Cambodia’s north-eastern provinces is targeted towards making a difference in people’s lives, with a particular focus on ensuring inclusive development for indigenous communities in the area,” Ms Corcoran said.
According to the statement, Australian aid aims to help improve health outcomes and social protection for the poor, early childhood development and supporting communities without access to financial service in Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri.
According to a report by Australia, the country is a leading bilateral grant donor to Cambodia. In 2018-19, Australia’s official development assistance’s estimated outcome was $79.7 million. This included an estimated $56.1 million in bilateral funding delivered in Cambodia through DFAT.
Since 2015, Australia’s aid investments have been prioritising three key objectives, including improving access to infrastructure, increasing agricultural productivity, and better health and education.
Ratanakiri deputy provincial Governor Nhem Samoeun confirmed that Mr Pang met with the ambassador on Wednesday.
“The ambassador discussed with provincial officials about the Australian aid provided to the province and how the aid has provided a lot of help to local residents,” he said.