AFD: An enduring commitment to sustainable development in Cambodia

A celebration of 30 years of a cooperation between France and Cambodia that has benefitted both countries in uncountable ways.

Last month, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) celebrated 30 years of working in and with Cambodia with a mission to promote structural development, such as water resource management, while supporting the commercial sector taking account of environmental and social standards, such as renewable energies.

Senior representatives of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and AFD’s partner institutions attended the celebration held at the Residence of France under the invitation of H.E. Ambassador Jacques Pellet, Mr Rémy Rioux, AFD’s Chief Executive Officer and Mrs Sandrine Boucher, AFD’s Director in Cambodia. Marked by the strong ties between France and Cambodia, the event provided an opportunity to look back at the successes of the last 30 years, while also looking ahead at the possibilities of the future.

AFD has been one of Cambodia’s trusted partners for the past 30 years, and has provided almost €900 million of financing for rural development, environmental protection and biodiversity, energy, water and sanitation, infrastructure, education and vocational training. This long-term support has, inter alia, helped improve access to drinking water in the capital and electricity in rural provinces.

In 2017, AFD ramped up its activities, with 50% of cumulative commitments since 1993 granted after this date. The agency expects this trend to continue over the next three years, with an additional €100 to €150 million in the pipeline.

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© Cambodge Mag – Vongsey Visoth, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD Group and Mr Jacques Pellet, French Ambassador to Cambodia

During his visit, AFD Director Mr Rémy Rioux met with the country’s main development actors in order to reinforce relations and cooperation. The agency works closely with numerous ministries, including the Ministry of Economy and Finance which coordinates all financing granted by AFD, as well as public companies (PPWSA, Electricity of Cambodia), the financial sector and community and civil rights organisation. Mr Rious was also received by His Excellency the Prime Minister Hun Sen towards the end of his visit.

The celebration was marked by a photo exhibition, “AFD, 30 Years of Action for Sustainable Development”, which was displayed on the outside walls of the embassy. A further exhibition in the embassy gardens was greatly, including an examination of projets from the Phare Ponleu Selpak School of Visual and Applied Arts was greatly enjoyed by guests.

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© Cambodge Mag

The challenges of just transition were addressed in the course of the evening, including the impacts of climate change, as well as new and innovative collaborations around public climate governance and adaptive social protection.

This evening was also an opportunity to look to the future and to young people by highlighting the importance of AFD’s portfolio of vocational training projects, notably with the Asian Development Bank. It was also the occasion for a meeting with young Cambodians who are international volunteers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Finally, the evening saw the presentation of the MobiliseYourCity Partnership certificate to His Excellency Mr Pharat Nuon, Vice Governor of Phnom Penh.

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