Sweden renews funding to help Cambodia adapt to climate change

Swedish Ambassador Anna Maj Hultgård and Ms. Setsuko Yamazaki, Country Director of UNDP in Cambodia, signed a new grant agreement to help Cambodia adapt to climate change and build up resilience. Photo: Embassy of Sweden in Phnom Penh

Sweden granted 28,000,000 Swedish Krona (approx. US$3.8 million) on November 14 to support an initiative implemented by the United Nations Development Programme to help Cambodia improve its capacity to respond to climate change impacts on its development.

Ms. Anna Maj Hultgård, Swedish Ambassador, and Ms. Setsuko Yamazaki, Country Director of UNDP in Cambodia, inked the grant agreement formally extending the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance (CCCA) into a second phase, which will run through 2019.

On this occasion, Ms. Anna Maj Hultgård said “Increased resilience to climate change, environmental impact and natural disaster constitutes a key goal of Sweden’s development cooperation with Cambodia for the period 2014-2018. We are therefore proud to formalize today our continued support to the CCCA, through which we will be able to assist – jointly with UNDP and the Delegation of the European Union – the Cambodian people and the Royal Government of Cambodia in their endeavors to strengthen national systems and capacities to better implement and coordinate the response to climate change both at central and local levels.”

The new grant is the second by Sweden which also contributed more than US$4.4 million to the CCCA programme during its first phase, 2010-2014.

Recent studies have consistently identified Cambodia as one of the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change due to its heavy reliance on agriculture, the large proportion of the population residing in the low lying areas and weak capacity to cope with unpredictable and extreme weather events such as drought and flood.

The CCCA was established in February 2010 as a multi-donor programme to serve as a unified entry point for development partners to channel resources for climate change initiatives in Cambodia. Donors during the programme’s first phase included Sweden, the European Union, Denmark, and UNDP. The programme has supported Government institutions and NGOs to implement 20 demonstration projects aimed at testing adaptation measures to improve resilience of rural communities most at risk to climate change.

At the national level, CCCA supports the National Climate Change Committee to develop policies and strategies for mainstreaming climate change in government systems and budget. The Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Plan (CCCSP) was unveiled last year as the country’s first-ever climate strategic framework. It outlines the government’s vision for promoting low carbon and climate-resilient development for the next 10 years. The second phase of the CCCA will build upon previous achievements to strengthen further the institutional mechanisms and governance systems, foster partnerships among all stakeholders, and harness human and technological capacities to implement priority actions outlined in the Strategic Plan.

“To achieve these objectives, the CCCA will continue to provide policy support and demonstrations of innovative actions through grants. On this note, we will work together with the Government of Sweden towards our common objectives of poverty reduction and enhanced economic, social and environmentally sustainable development based on people’s own ability to drive development. We would like also to thank the Swedish people for their generous contributions – past and present,” Ms. Setsuko Yamazaki, UNDP Country Director, said.

“Our focus in this programme will remain on building resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable people so that they can escape entrenched poverty. As such, UNDP looks forward to working closely with Sweden in supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia in addressing climate change issues as part of its aspiration to achieve sustainable development in the long future to come,” Ms. Yamazaki added.

Source: Embassy of Sweden in Phnom Penh

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