Under the wise and visionary leadership of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Cambodia has maintained peace, stability, social order, prudent macro-economic management and sound governance reforms as the foundation for inclusive and sustainable development. Such significant achievements have been reflected through increased ownership and capacity, and strong political leadership of the RGC towards achieving national development objectives. At the same time, the RGC acknowledges the significant roles of the ODA and other sources of development finance, including the private sector, in the development process in order to build a solid foundation for realizing Cambodia Vision 2030 and 2050, especially the transition to LDC graduation.
Cambodia is among the countries that have been impacted by the fast-evolving context and challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the RGC, in collaboration with its development partners, acted swiftly in response to the challenges by implementing a number of policy interventions. With the National Vaccination Campaign, the NSPPF 2016-2025, the Strategic Framework and Program for Economic Recovery in the Context of Living with COVID-19 in a New Normal (2021-2023), and the Digital Economy and Society Policy Framework (2021-2035), Cambodia was able to control the pandemic while witnessing a positive growth of 3% in 2021, and the growth is expected to increase by 5.6% in 2022 and 6.5% in 2023.
With reference to the NSDP and the RS-IV, the RGC implements the Development Cooperation and Partnerships Strategy (2019-2023) that sets out principles, mechanisms and tools for promoting effective development cooperation and result-based partnerships while monitoring the development effectiveness indicators against the global partnership principles.
In regard to partnership performance, the use of government’s results framework was almost 10% ahead of the 2023 target of 80% in 2021. In the meantime, both aid on budget and predictability were recorded on-track at 86% and 96% in 2021, respectively. For untied aid, it accounted for 77%, a slight increase from 74% in 2020. However, for the use of country systems, only 74% and 38% of ODA is being disbursed by using the PFM and the procurement system.
Trends in Development Cooperation
Despite the public resource competitions among the recipient countries and the constraints on availability among donor countries, from 2019 to 2021, total disbursement was roughly USD 2 billion per annum. In 2020, there was a significant increase to USD 2.4 billion, with an increment of 22% from 2019, due to the provision of two projects with large single-disbursements to combat COVID-19 and support Government’s recovery effort. However, it is estimated to decrease around 16% in 2021. In proportion to total ODA 2020, grant assistance went up to USD 959 million, which shared 40% of total ODA (9% decrease from 2019). Loan, which peaked at USD 1,452 million and shared 60% of total ODA (9% increase from 2019), was immensely contributed by China, Japan, ADB, WB, Republic of Korea, and France.
Aid/GDP ratio has declined between 2013 and 2018, which reflected a relatively higher GDP growth compared to the increase of ODA volume. However, this ratio picked up to 9% due to the increase in loan disbursements coupled with the negative GDP growth caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2021 to 2022, the economy has begun to bounce back, and total ODA disbursement leveled off while aid/GDP ratio is expected to decrease significantly to around 6% in 2022.
Between 2018 and 2022, China, Japan, Korea, and France were the biggest bilateral partners, whereby ADB and WB were the largest providers as international financial institutions. China, Japan, and Korea largely increased their disbursements from USD 784 million in 2019, approximately 40% of total ODA, to USD 1,100 million in 2020, about 46% of total ODA.
Trends in sectoral allocations of development assistance in 2018-2022 are well-aligned with the RGC’s priorities as articulated in the RS-IV. Significant funds were allocated to health, education, agriculture, transportation and energy, all of which shared 57% and 70% of all assistance in 2020 and 2021. These investments highlighted government’s priorities for social and economic development and enabling growth in line with the RGC's progress in implementing the IDP 2015-2025, and the government’s effort to COVID-19 social and economic response and recovery.