PHNOM PENH: On 20th February 2023 the AFD has been operating in Cambodia since 1993. In 2023, it will celebrate its 30th anniversary of operations in the country. On this occasion, senior representatives of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and AFD’s partner institutions were invited for the ceremony celebrating AFD’s 30th anniversary at the Residence of France at the invitation of His Excellency 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, this event provided an opportunity to look back on the successes of the past 30 years while looking ahead to the future.
AFD has been a trusted partner of Cambodia since its reconstruction and for the past 30 years has financed nearly 900 million euros in the sectors of rural development, environmental protection and biodiversity, energy, water and sanitation, infrastructure, energy, education, and vocational training. This long-term support has helped improve access to drinking water, with 1 million people now connected in Phnom Penh, as well as access to electricity in rural provinces, connecting 165,000 households to the network. Since 2017, AFD’s activities have grown strongly, with 50% of cumulative commitments since 1993 granted after this date. AFD Group’s new commitments in Cambodia are expected to continue over the next three years at 100 to 150 million euros per year. Together with “Team Europe”, AFD is actively participating in European support for the country’s development.
AFD «BY YOUR SIDE» IN CAMBODIA
During his visit to Cambodia, Mr. Rémy Rioux met with the country’s main development actors to further strengthen cooperation with AFD Group. AFD Group works closely with many ministries, in particular the Ministry of Economy and Finance which coordinates all financing granted by AFD for development projects, but also public companies (PPWSA, Electricity of Cambodia), the financial community, and civil society organizations. These are all trusted partners that AFD Group is happy to support in their actions to promote sustainable development. His Excellency Prime Minister Hun Sen also received Mr. Rioux at the end of his visit.
AFD’s 30th-anniversary ceremony was organized around several sequences to highlight the activities carried out in Cambodia and to celebrate its partners. The photo exhibition “AFD, 30 years of action for sustainable development” on the outside walls of the French Embassy was opened. At the same time, guests were able to discover a photo exhibition in the gardens of the residence, a menu created by the Embassy’s chef to promote Geographical Indications, a tap water distribution stand run by PPWSA, and an exhibition of projects from the Phare Ponleu Selpak school of visual and applied arts.
A CEREMONY AND HIGHLIGHTS LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The ceremony addressed the challenges of just transition in Cambodia, including the impact of climate change, as well as new innovative collaborations around public climate governance and adaptive social protection. The celebration of AFD’s anniversary was an opportunity to look to the future and young people by highlighting the importance of AFD’s portfolio of vocational training projects, notably with the Asian Development Bank, a major partner of the Group in Cambodia. It was also the occasion for a meeting with young Cambodian 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. These two highlights were in addition to the inauguration of a new tunnel boring machine as part of the emblematic Bakheng project co-financed with the European Union and the EIB, the holding of a conference on Public Climate Governance co-organised with the Ministry of Finance, the signature of a financing agreement in favour of the NSSF for adaptive social protection, the signature of a partnership agreement between the Institute of Technology of Cambodia and PPWSA on the one hand, and between the ITC, EDC and the University of Grenoble Alpes for the launch of the research platform for the energy transition, on the other hand, Finally, an establishment agreement for Expertise France’s activities in Cambodia was signed, paving the way for the more extensive deployment of this AFD subsidiary’s activities in the Kingdom.
ABOUT AFD GROUP
AFD Group helps implement France’s development and international solidarity policy. AFD Group is made up of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), which finances the public sector and NGOs, as well as research and training on sustainable development, its subsidiary Proparco, which finances the private sector, and Expertise France, a technical cooperation agency. AFD Group finances support and accelerates transitions toward a fairer and more resilient world. Together with our partners, we build shared solutions with and for the people of the South. Our teams are involved in more than 4,000 projects in the field, in the French overseas territories, in 115 countries, and in territories in crisis, for common goods – climate, biodiversity, peace, gender equality, education, and health. In this way, we are contributing to the commitment of France and the French people to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For a world in common.
Photo by: French Embassy in Cambodia