PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — Civil society organizations (CSOs) in Cambodia are receiving support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help communities tackle climate change impacts and natural disasters, through a civil society support scheme officially launched today.

The scheme, funded by the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience under the Climate Investment Funds, will provide $1.4 million in small grants to support 19 selected CSOs to mainstream climate resilience into their operations. They will implement community-based disaster risk reduction projects in sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, water resources management, water supply and sanitation, education, and health, as well as enhance ecological protection in 17 provinces across Cambodia.

“This civil society support scheme will help the selected CSOs play a greater role in empowering Cambodia’s communities to cope with the impacts of climate change,” said Ancha Srinivasan, Principal Climate Change Specialist at ADB’s Southeast Asia Department. “Strong community involvement in drawing up climate change adaptation strategies improves their uptake and sustainability as it gives communities a strong sense of ownership.”

The selected CSOs will conduct studies on climate change impacts, help communities understand key sources of vulnerability and opportunities for effective adaptation to climate change, and generate knowledge on potential approaches to climate change adaptation. 

The scheme is expected to benefit over 112,000 people in more than 21,000 households, including vulnerable groups such as farmers, urban poor, women, children, marginalized groups, and indigenous people from the 17 provinces. It will be administered by an international nongovernmental organization, Plan International Cambodia, under the guidance of the Ministry of Environment and ADB.

Cambodia is the only Mekong country selected to participate in the $1.2 billion Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, which seeks to mainstream climate resilience into development planning. As part of the program, in 2011 ADB helped the Government of Cambodia prepare a $585 million Strategic Program for Climate Resilience, comprising eight investment projects and one technical assistance project, focusing on harnessing opportunities for integrating climate resilience into agriculture, water resources management, water supply and sanitation, and transport sectors.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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