Strategy

Switzerland aims to reduce poverty, support equitable and sustainable development, and foster democratic governance in Cambodia and Lao PDR with their own country programme portfolios as well as regional projects that include Vietnam and Myanmar. The overall regional rationale is to contribute to bridging the development gap between the CLM-countries and the better-off ASEAN-6.

Over the past 20 years, countries in the region experienced stable economic growth, allowing Cambodia and Lao PDR to reach the status of Lower Middle Income Country, but not graduate out of the Least Developed Country categorization. The economic growth led to an impressive reduction of overall poverty. However, major challenges such as increasing inequalities, lack of inclusion of vulnerable citizens, specifically women and minorities in rural and more remote areas, weak institutional capacities and environmental degradation persisted and partly grew. These challenges, if not appropriately dealt with, may jeopardize stability and the future development of the region.

Switzerland will continue addressing current development challenges in three main sectors. These are in line with national development priorities and cover Governance and Citizen Participation, Agriculture and Food Security and Skills Development and Employment. In Cambodia, maternal and child health continues to be supported.

Switzerland's activities in the region all include the cross-cutting themes of gender equality, governance and climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR).

Swiss Cooperation is based on the Federal Council’s Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2017-2020, guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the  commitment to support the implementation of the Development Effectiveness principles while applying a Whole of Government approach. In this spirit, Switzerland is engaged as member in the European Joint Programming in Cambodia and Lao PDR; supports Multi-stakeholder Partnerships; and aligns with existing results based on National Development Plans. Switzerland’s  presence in the region is also inspired by its status as Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. The latter is considered as one of the key organisations to bridge the development gap between its member states.

SDC Programming in Cambodia

Rice farmers in Kandal province, Cambodia
Rice farmers in Kandal province, Cambodia ©Nathan Horton

About SDC in Cambodia

SDC has supported development projects in the region since 1968. The cooperation office in Phnom Penh in Cambodia opened in 2013, where Switzerland also provides support to the Kantha Bopha hospitals of the Swiss doctor, Beat Richner. The cooperation office also provides consular services to Swiss citizens.

The Lao PDR country office in Vientiane, serves as the SDC coordination office for programming in Lao PDR, as well as regional projects that include Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

SDC Programming

Switzerland’s overall goal is to contribute to building inclusive societies through equitable and sustainable development and democratic governance. To this end, Switzerland supports Cambodia to strengthen a peaceful society with reduced poverty and sustainable and inclusive growth.

2018-07-Cambodia Country Factsheet (PDF, 920.0 kB)

Governance and Citizen Participation

Business development meeting where farmers, traders and local authorities discuss the next steps of their business plans in Strung Treng province, Cambodia
Business development meeting where farmers, traders and local authorities discuss the next steps of their business plans in Strung Treng province, Cambodia ©Lars Büchler/SDC

In support of key governance reforms, Switzerland builds the capacities of duty bearers at national and sub-national levels to ensure quality public services that are accessible and affordable to vulnerable children, women and men. Through various platforms, including the Parliamentary Institute of Cambodia, Switzerland contributes to strengthening democratic accountability. In view of the country’s difficult past, it strengthens dialogue platforms for promoting dealing with the past and reconciliation.

Domain Project Factsheets:
2016-02-Support for Sub-National Democratic Development In Cambodia ()
2016-02-Support for Regional Economic Development in Cambodia (PDF, 632.9 kB)
2018-03-Support to the Parliment in Cambodia Phase 2 (PDF, 1.0 MB)

 

Agriculture and Food Security

Horticulture farmer in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia
Horticulture farmer in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia ©SDC/Sareth Chea

In order to improve rural livelihoods, Switzerland contributes to revitalising the agriculture sector and advancing food security in line with national priorities. It promotes diversified crop production and facilitate value chains and market linkages. Furthermore, Switzerland  strengthens sustainable and equitable access to and control over community land and production means. Switzerland also continues to support mine clearance.

Domain Project Factsheets:
2016-02-Clearing for Results Phase 2 (PDF, 1.5 MB)
2018-01-Partnership for Forestry and Fishery Phase 2 (PDF, 1.2 MB)
2018-01-Cambodian Horticulture Project Advancing Income and Nutrion Phase 2 (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Skills Development and Employment

Motorbike repair training in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia
Motorbike repair training in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia ©Giuseppe Salerno

Switzerland’s work ensures that TVET curricula meet domestic and regional market demands; it puts a specific emphasis on improving the reputation of TVET in the population. It promotes and facilitates equitable access to quality skills development programmes and youth employment, including affirmative action for disadvantaged groups such as school-dropouts. Consistent with the national TVET policy, Switzerland supports improved governance and operation of TVET systems, including broad ownership by government and private sector stakeholders.

Domain Project Factsheets:
2018-03-Support for Skill Develepment in Cambodia (PDF, 618.5 kB)
2018-03-UN Joint Programme on Youth Employment (PDF, 467.8 kB)
2018-03-Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skill Development and Enhanced Job Placement in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand. (PDF, 495.6 kB)

Support to Maternal and Child Health

The Kantha Bopha pediatric hospitals were established in 1992 on the initiative of the Swiss medical doctor, Beat Richner. They make a major contribution to the improvement of the health of children and to public health generally in Cambodia. SDC began supporting five Kantha Bopha hospitals in 1994. Since then, the Kantha Bopha hospitals have treated more than one million children requiring hospitalization and more than 10 million children as outpatients.

SDC’s contribution to the Kantha Bopha hospitals is one of the largest financial contributions of SDC worldwide to a bilateral project, totalling almost CHF 40 million since 1994. In the context of health financing, SDC engages technically and in policy dialogue to ensure (financial) sustainability of the Kantha Bopha hospitals.

2016-02-Support to Kantha Bopha Hospitals in Cambodia (PDF, 520.8 kB)

Resources Allocation

Fish market in Kratie, Cambodia
Fish market in Kratie, Cambodia ©Nathan Horton

SDC Actual disbursements in Cambodia

2013-2017:     CHF 58.77 million

Projected disbursements in Cambodia

2018-2021: CHF 50 million

Planned allocations by country (in million CHF)

 

2018

2019

2020

2021

Total

% Total

Mekong Region

8

8

8

8

32

22%

Cambodia

12.5

12.5

12.5

12.5

50

34%

Lao PDR

16

16

16

16

64

44%

Total

36.5

36.5

36.5

36.5

146

100%

 

Planned allocations by thematic domain (in million CHF)

Domains

2018

2019

2020

2021

Total

% Total

Governance, citizen participation and health

14

14

14

14

56

38%

Agriculture and food security

12.5

12.5

12.5

12.5

50

34%

Skills development and employment

10

10

10

10

40

27%

Total

36.5

36.5

36.5

36.5

146

100%