|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Cambodia experiences drought and flood incidents that impact a significant portion of its poor population every year. In 2009, Typhoon Ketsana affected 11 of the 24 provinces and caused a total damage of USD 39 million (NCDM 2009). In 2011, Cambodia suffered extensive and prolonged rains (from August to October) which resulted in unprecedented floods in 18 of the 24 provinces. The flood had widespread impacts on public infrastructure and many communities causing the death of 250 people, USD625 million in damages and affecting more than 1.5 million people (ADB 2012) . As global climate conditions continue to change, Cambodia will experience increasingly unpredictable flood and drought occurrences that may overwhelm the country's limited capacity and resources. As global climate conditions continue to change, Cambodia will experience increasingly unpredictable flood and drought occurrences that may overwhelm the country's limited capacity and resources.
The NCDM, established in 1995, is the country's main disaster management agency to facilitate the inter-ministerial responses to emergency and disaster events. As part of its ongoing investment in disaster response and rehabilitation, the ADB commissioned an Institutional Review and Capacity Assessment of the NCDM. The assessment involved a review of the policies, structure, performance and outputs of NCDM through individual interviews with NCDM staff, line ministries, development partners, NGOs as well as secondary data and observations of coordination meetings over a six-month period.
Findings indicate that NCDM operations are severely challenged with non-functional organizational structures which it attributes largely to the lack of financial resources. At the national level, NCDM meetings do not occur regularly as mandated and for the past several years, government ministries and stakeholders have only met as a result of emergencies and disasters. The NCDM's General Secretariat is also not operating effectively. Neither the NCDM General Secretariat nor any of its operational departments have developed annual action or operating plans, nor have any of them been provided with annual operating budgets. At the sub-national level, the Disaster Management (DM) committees have likewise been given the responsibility to lead disaster management efforts at their respective administrative levels without being provided adequate resources. Conditions at the sub-national level are actually more challenging considering they are front-line actors that have to address the direct effects and impact of emergencies and disaster events Their operations are also constrained by the lack of clear cut guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) covering their roles and responsibilities in relation to each other (i.e., PCDM-DCDM-CCDM), with the NCDM and with the different local and international organizations that usually respond to emergencies and disasters.
The current NSDP 2009-2013, recognizes disaster risk reduction and its correlation to poverty in the country. Strengthening community resilience to disasters should be a priority agenda as this contributes to poverty alleviation and to the general improvement in quality of life, the primary objectives of the government. The introduction of hazards and vulnerability assessments, early warning systems, emergency response plans, and community preparedness and recovery plans will enable local communities to directly address their specific vulnerabilities and address primary contributors to poverty in the country.
ADB's Strategy for 2020 includes commitment to support Disaster and Emergency Assistance along with core areas of infrastructure, environment and climate change. The current ADB Country Partnership Strategy (2011-2013) addresses the cross-cutting challenges of environment and climate change and decentralization and deconcentration (D&D), and was informed by the Special Evaluation Study on ADB's Response to Natural Disasters and Disaster Risks , ADB is supporting the RGC in developing two proposals that will address the existing issues and structural weaknesses of the country's disaster management capacities: (i) a technical assistance project to address disaster management issues at the national (policy) level, at the NCDM secretariat, and at the Provincial level; and (ii) a grant project (this project) that will complement the planned institutional strengthening by institutionalizing community based disaster risk reduction and coordination through localized structures at the district and commune levels.
The multi-level capacity building nature of the proposed project falls under the theme of public sector management, which forms the base for improved operations of projects in all ADB target sectors . In addition, as part of ADB's support to the government's decentralization agenda, ADB commits to working with emerging or existing decentralization structures.