On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, His Excellency Rith Vuthy, Deputy Secretary-General of CRDB/CDC and Mr. Daniel Alemu, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative ad interim in Cambodia, co-chaired a meeting between the Royal Government of Cambodia and UNFPA on the mid-term review of the implementation of the 6th Country Programme 2019-2023 through video conference. Participants attending the meeting were His Excellency, Her Excellency, Secretary of State, Under Secretary of State, Director General, officers, advisors, and experts from the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Economic and Finance, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Women’s Affairs and UNFPA in Cambodia. The main objective of this meeting is to review the mid-term progress, challenges, and lesson learnt from the implementation of CPAP 2019-2023, discuss and adjust the programme to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and propose key priority interventions for 2022.
Based on the mid-term review of RGC/UNFPA 6th Country Programme report in 2021, UNFPA, in collaboration with government ministries/agencies, has achieved remarkable results in implementing its programme which focuses on 3 outcomes including 1) Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (which also embeds cross-cutting work on gender), 2) Adolescents and Youth, and 3) Population Dynamics. The three outcomes are aligned with the RGC’s priorities as articulated in the Rectangular Strategy-Phase IV.
However, the implementation of the programme has also faced several challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic including delays in finalizing and approval of youth development and comprehensive sexuality education action plan, cancellation of training courses for healthcare providers, disruptions to the implementation of the Cambodian Demographic and Health Survey 2021, postponement of physical meetings with victims of gender-based violence, as well as the limitation of human and financial resources.
UNFPA has reviewed the unachieved work plans, studied from the past experiences and applied new innovations such as using modern technologies to accelerate the implementation of activities while continuing to strengthen the cooperation with the RGC and development partners. It is expected that those work plans will be successfully achieved in the near future. The four major implementing ministries will also adjust their priorities to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic for 2022. Regarding the need for funding, UNFPA also requested the RGC to make additional contributions in order to successfully implement its country programme.
It is worth mentioning that UNFPA approved a total commitment of US$13 million for a 5-year period of their 6th country programme, an average of US$2.6 million per year. UNFPA provided a total of US$ 2.9 million for 2021 and plans to provide a total of US$2.4 million for 2022.