Phnom Penh, February 6, 2015: Participants from government and the NGO sector joined together for a consultation workshop on The Changing Aid Landscape: Opportunities and Challenges for Cambodia, organized by Asia Foundation in partnership with Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board and Council for the Development of Cambodia (CRDB/CDC).
Mr. Heng Pheakdey, NGOF’s Deputy Executive Director (DED), was invited as one among the five panelists including H.E. Chan Rotha, Deputy Secretary General of Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, H.E. Chou Heng, Director of Policy Department of CRDB/CDC, Mr. Eric Sidgwick, Country Director of the Asia Development Bank, and Ms. Anthea Mulakala, Director of International Development Cooperation, Asia Foundation.
During the dialogue, the panelists discussed the benefits and challenges of having different types of donors/partners, the implications for CSOs, the role of the private sector, and ways to improve future development planning and aid management in Cambodia. NGOF’s DED raised points based on the recommendations received from the pre-consultation workshop facilitated by NGOF on January 6. This dialogue was focused more on promoting human rights, management of natural resources, and protecting and promoting the interests of Cambodia’s most vulnerable.
“CSOs should play the role of watchdog regarding Cambodian future development, and the government should improve in tax collection, and manage revenue from extractive industries in a transparent manner, even though, the changing aid landscape is likely to put pressure on NGO’s and affect their ability to work with poor and vulnerable people,” said Mr. Heng Pheakdey during the discussion.
Cambodia’s development has relied heavily on international aid and grants; however in the last decade development cooperation in Cambodia has changed. From 2010 to 2012, according to the Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board; Council for the Development of Cambodia (CRDB/CDC), about 40 percent of the external assistance that Cambodia received came from emerging Asian donors especially from China, India and Korea.