Monday, October 19, 2009

Final Report on Policy and Strategy of Rural Development in Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has presented their “Final Report on the Policy and Strategy for Rural Development for Cambodia”, aiming to promote development and progress in Cambodia in rural areas.

The presentation of the report was held at the Ministry of Rural Development, under the presidency of Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhayly, and Chea Sophara, Minister of Rural Development, and Lee Kyung-Soo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia.

The Deputy Prime Minister Chhayly said this final report is very important because it will enhance rural development, contributing poverty reduction and improvement of living standard for rural people in Cambodia in future.

He said the Royal Government of Cambodia in the fourth mandate under the wise leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has the main duties in continuing and carrying out the Cambodian government’s third mandate to respond and implement the first phase and second phase of the government’s rectangular strategy successfully.

To reach this goal, the Ministry of Rural Development as well as the government committed to work hard in order to construct roads, bridges and other rehabilitations for the people in Cambodia, said Chhayly.

“The Ministry of Rural Development is one of the main ministries that can bridge the needs of the people in the course of supporting the socio economic development in Cambodia. I would like to appeal for the Ministry of Rural Development to take KOICA’s policy and strategy of rural development and implemented it successfully, along with other Cambodian government’s policies and strategies to develop Cambodia and to reduce poverty in our country,” he said at the presentation of the report on October 14.

Chhayly added that to reach the Millennium Development Goals 2015, the Royal Government of Cambodia committed to work hard in reforming all targeted sectors including poverty reduction, the gaps between poor and rich people, and guaranteeing and increasing of economic growth in Cambodia.

Lee Kyung-Soo, Korean Ambassador of Republic of Korea to Cambodia, said his country is one of the poorest countries in the world in 1960s and the agriculture sector was the main industry of the nation. Along with starting a new economic development plan in 1960’s, the Korean government launched Saemaul Movement (New Village Movement) in rural communities to inspire and lead the people into the improvement of rural communities.

He said that with the leadership of the government, Korean people have made great efforts towards economic and rural development, and have achieved great successes in various fields including rural development.

“Now that Korea has become a front runner among developing countries, we take it as our responsibility, as well as a great privilege, to join the international drive to support other developing nations. In addition, Korea would like to share the valuable lessons learned through our development experience, especially in the field of rural development with partner countries,” he said.

He continued to say that with this understanding in mind, the government of Korea through KOICA has provided a great deal of support in Cambodia in the areas of agricultural development, water resources management, health care, capacity building and the infrastructure such as roads and geodetic control points.

Korean government has named rural development as a top priority because in Cambodia, whose main industry is agriculture and which has around 80 percent of its population living in rural areas, without development of rural areas, any kinds of national economic development could not be achieved successfully.

He pointed out that the government of the Republic of Korea through KOICA has provided the Project of “Formulation of Rural Development Policy and Strategy”, aimed at formulating policies and strategy on rural development; contributing to poverty reduction and improvement of living standard for the rural people; and strengthening the relationship and cooperation in the field of rural development between the two countries through the successful implementation of this project.

“I hope that this final report is very meaningful in sharing knowledge and information about the development issues in search of ideas and policy directions in the field of rural development and will help the Ministry’s staff to perform their duties more effectively and to strengthen their capacity. This will lead to improve and enhance works in the Ministry of Rural Development,” he said.

Korea has a strong commitment to the economic development of Cambodia and the prosperity of Cambodian people despite the worldwide financial crisis and Korea’s economic downturn, he said, adding that Korean government, also, will continue to be a good cooperation partner for Cambodia’s development and especially, for rural development.

According to KOICA report, the Korean government, since 1991 until now, has been providing US$ 156 millions with grant aids, technical assistance and loans to the Cambodia government, and addressed continuously to expand its ODA programs in the years to come.

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