In order to aid the inclusive and sustainable development of the country, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will continue to support Cambodia in improving disaster preparedness through strengthening its disaster management capabilities.
Samiuela Tukuafu, the country director of the ADB’s resident mission, speaking during a regional conference on community-based disaster risk management and adaptation in Siem Reap, said Cambodia is highly vulnerable to climate change.
Such high vulnerability, he added, is not only the result of dependence on climate sensitive sectors like agriculture and fishing, but also partly due to the low adaptive capacity of the country’s communities and ecosystems.
“Enhancing the climate resilience of Cambodia’s economy is therefore critical, and implementing community-level measures to strengthen disaster and climate resilience is vital for achieving inclusive and sustainable development,” Mr Samiuela said.
Cambodia was selected for the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, which aims to demonstrate measures to integrate climate risk and resilience into development planning.
In 2011, the government, with support from the ADB, prepared the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR), comprising seven investment projects in four priority sectors – agriculture, water resources, transport and urban development – and one capacity building technical assistance programme, according to Mr Samiuela.
The total investment in these projects is approximately $588 million.
To improve Cambodia’s disaster preparedness, the ADB has approved a technical assistance program titled “Strengthening Coordination for Management of Disasters”, and a grant project named “Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction”, through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, he said.
“Both projects helped to establish and strengthen the policy environment for effective disaster risk management and build the capacity of national and provincial disaster management institutions, to ensure that Cambodia has a unified strategy for disaster risk management that is mainstreamed throughout all levels of government,” the ADB official added.
Cambodia is strongly committed to address natural hazards at the community level. In 2014, a Climate Change Strategic and Action Plan for Disaster Management was adopted to strengthen the resilience capacity and coordination role of the National Committee for Disaster Management.
Cambodia passed the Law on Disaster Management in July 2015, issued a Royal Decree on Organization and Functioning of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) in December 2015 and passed a resolution on Appointment of the Members of the National Committee for Disaster Management in March 2016.