Phnom Penh, June 25, 2007 — Many Cambodians are locked into a cycle of poverty owing to a lack of effective policy and poor natural resource management. The Asia Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to Asia’s development since 1954, announced today a collaboration with the Multi-Donor Livelihoods Facility, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), and New Zealand Aid (NZAID) for a two-year, $7.5 million program in Cambodia to foster greater participation by civil society groups in local policy and budget decisions especially as they effect natural resource management.
The Foundation’s program, Civil Society and Pro-poor Markets (CSPPM) will boost citizens’ influence in local decision-making regarding exploitation of natural resources. This will help to ensure that local communities are the chief beneficiaries of local resources, and that those resources are managed sustainably. The program will be implemented in 13 provinces, mainly in the northeast and south of Cambodia where natural resources are at greatest threat of depletion.
“In many parts of Cambodia, productive interaction between civil society organizations and commune officials is rare, meaning that local policies can sometimes lack a true local perspective. We hope to help address this shortcoming and foster better natural resource management in Cambodia,” said Roderick Brazier, country representative of The Asia Foundation.
In implementing CSPPM, The Asia Foundation will collaborate with local and international partners, including Buddhism for Development, the Center for Social Development, Oxfam UK, Care International, Concern International, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Ockenden International.
ABOUT THE ASIA FOUNDATION CAMBODIA
The Asia Foundation first opened its office in Cambodia in 1955. In 1989, after a break of more than 15 years, the Foundation resumed program activities and reestablished its representative office in Phnom Penh in 1993. Through grants of technical assistance, The Asia Foundation supports local Cambodian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to push for progress in governance, human rights, and economic reform, three areas central to democracy and broad-based development in Cambodia. The Foundation supports a wide range of strategies to mobilize the political will and build the institutional and human resource capacity necessary to address these issues including research development, cooperation among domestic and international actors, and increased citizen access to information. Through its efforts to build the capacity of Cambodian NGOs, the Foundation has supported programs in every province and has extensive experience in rural Cambodia, including the most remote regions of the country.