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Collaboration at subnational levels with development partners is helping reduce poverty in Cambodia said Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, H.E. Yim Chhay Ly while he was on a field visit along with WSSCC Executive Director Mr. Chris Williams to communities in the Svay Rieng Province. WSSCC is supporting the Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement programme via its Global Sanitation Fund.
The deputy PM emphasized the importance of collaboration between multiple ministries, local governments and development partners as it is helping towards poverty alleviation in Cambodia as well as addressing the gap between urban and rural areas.
“We are narrowing the gap on issues such as childhood stunting. Sanitation and hygiene in rural areas remains a key challenge, but one for which we are seeing a great change, thanks to our partnerships,” said the deputy PM.
The visit ahead of a national conference on sanitation, included other high-level government delegates and the WSSCC team.
The high-level delegation visited an ODF commune in Svay Teab District. The District has a population of 60,000 people and is 93 percent Open Defecation Free (ODF). It is expected to achieve full ODF status by the end of 2017. The Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement (CRSHIP) programme has invested over USD 10 million since 2010 on behaviour change activities in 11 provinces across Cambodia.
During his speech, the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted that the country’s national strategy on rural water supply, sanitation, and hygiene, has set out to achieve sustained access to safe water and sanitation services for everyone in rural communities by 2025. He thanked WSSCC for its support and commended Dr. Chea Samnang, WSSCC’s National Coordinator, for championing efforts for integrating WASH and nutrition in Cambodia.
In his remarks, Mr. Chris Williams discussed the role of local government in development action and emphasized the link between WASH and nutrition, noting that the issue of sanitation is closely linked with nutrition and health.
“It is only by bringing together these key issues that we can achieve better health outcomes and bring an end to stunting,” he said. Mr. Williams also added that behaviour change approaches are key to achieving results in sanitation and hygiene.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Rural Development, H.E. Ouk Rabun, noted that his ministry would like to see CRSHIP integrate into the 2019-2025 National Action Plan for Rural Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene.
Since 2011, CRSHIP has worked to increase sustained access to improved sanitation and promote good hygiene practices in rural communities. CRSHIP actively supports national WASH sector objectives and partner capacity building, placing learning at the centre of all of its work with a strong emphasis on equality and non-discrimination. The programme is managed and implemented by Plan International Cambodia and works through local and international NGOs, with the Ministry of Rural Development leading the Programme Coordinating Mechanism.