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heading foldHow we are helping

2012/13 Expenditure

$84.0 million

2013/14 Proposed Expenditure

$85.3 million


Expenditure is total official development assistance inclusive of DFAT’s bilateral program, flows from DFAT regional and global programs and other government departments.

Implementation of the revised 2013-14 budget is currently under discussion with partner governments and organisations.


Australia is one of Cambodia's largest bilateral development partners. Our strong relationship is built on Australia’s strong support for the Cambodian Peace Process in the late 1980s and 1990s, including our lead role in the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia. We focus our engagement in areas of greatest need including child and maternal health and rural poverty, where we have the experience and capacity to deliver results.

Australia has invested $244.5 million in Cambodia over the previous three years. Our investment has contributed to important development results including:

  • saving lives by reducing maternal mortality by half and child mortality by a third
  • stimulating economic opportunity by rehabilitating over 110 km of the national railway network to connect the capital Phnom Penh to the seaport of Sihanoukville
  • reducing rural poverty by building irrigation schemes and providing training to help farmers increase their production.

More on results can be viewed under the ‘See our results’ tab above.

Australia expects to provide $85.3 million in development assistance to Cambodia in 2013–14. Australia remains committed to delivering results in Cambodia and our development assistance is expected to have a resounding impact in future years. We will help Cambodia:

  • ensure that 75 per cent of all births are attended by trained health staff
  • provide 50 long-term scholarship awards for study in Australia
  • continue support for agricultural development and mine clearance.

More on expected outcomes can be viewed under the 'See our results' tab above.


Results to 30 June 2012

  • Maternal mortality rate reduced from 472 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2005, to 206 deaths in 2010.
  • Births attended by trained health staff increased from 44 per cent in 2005 to 71 per cent in 2010.
  • Under-five mortality rate decreased from 83 deaths per 1000 live births in 2005 to 54 deaths in 2010.
  • The proportion of women giving birth in health facilities increased from 22 per cent in 2005 to 54 per cent in 2010.

Commitments 2012-13

  • Australia will help Cambodia to ensure 75 per cent of all births are attended by trained health staff, 90 per cent of pregnant women receive ante-natal care and 85 per cent of the population has access to health financing and health insurance.
  • Cambodia has achieved its 2012 MDG targets for maternal health and child mortality.

Read more on health


Results to 30 June 2012

  • In 2011, 98 Cambodian students commenced studying for a short or long-term award in Australia.

Commitments 2012-13

  • In 2012, at least 48 Cambodian students commenced studying a long term Australia Awards scholarship in Australia. Of these, 20 places are allocated to government officials.

Read more on education

Economic development

Results to 30 June 2012

  • Since 2010 Australia has rehabilitated 13 irrigation schemes and contributed to building 2 canals. Total irrigated areas have increased by 25,000 hectares with over 80 kilometres of irrigation.
  • More than 30 agribusiness partnerships have been initiated to improve access to fertiliser, equipment etc. and improve quality and timeliness of information to farmers. Access to processing and final markets has improved.

Commitments 2012-13

  • Continued implementation of the Cambodia Agricultural value Chain Program, including agricultural research, training for farmers, irrigation improvements and support for the Cambodian Government’s Strategy for Agriculture and Water.
  • Food security will be strengthened through improved data on the agriculture sector in Cambodia to better inform agricultural policies and programs.
  • Training in HIV and human trafficking will be provided to communities and the private sector on Southern Coastal Corridor road link.

Read more on economic development


Results to 30 June 2012

  • An alternative approach to custodial sentencing was established to address prison overcrowding.
  • A national Crime Database was rolled out across the country.
  • Improved community safety achieved in targeted districts with specific focus on vulnerable groups Including women and children.
  • Contributed to the completion of the first trial of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia.

Commitments 2012-13

  • Support to the courts, prisons, provincial authorities and NGOs to improve criminal justice with a focus on the needs of juveniles and women.
  • Harmonise with other donors to develop planning, monitoring and evaluation systems for the legal and judicial reform strategy.
  • Support to the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia.

Read more on governance


Results to 30 June 2012

  • In 2011, 5,000 square metres of community and leasehold land was cleared from the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordinances, benefiting more than 40,000 people.
  • Australian support for mine clearance in Cambodia helped the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority to clear 13.8 square kilometres of land and to find and destroy 4,593 anti-personnel mines, 28 anti-tank mines and 1,999 other unexploded ordnance.
  • In 2012, there was a 12.3% decrease in victims of land mine incidents across the country.

Commitments 2012-13

  • Continued support to Cambodian Mine Action Authority programs for the removal of landmines and unexploded ordnance.
  • Conduct a study of the usage of land cleared in 2012.

Research overview

Good research can lead to positive change for the world’s poorest by enhancing the design and implementation of development policies and programs. That's why Australia is committed to an innovative research portfolio and funds research, including through:

  • competitive funding mechanisms (such as the Australian Development Research Awards)
  • research partnerships with different Australian, international and developing country research institutions
  • commissioning research to address a specific question or clearly defined research gap
  • one-off research grants, when an existing program of research is relevant to the Australian aid program.

Cambodia Development Research Institute

Australia has funded the Cambodia Development Research Unit’s ‘Water Resources Management Research Capacity Development Programme’. The programme has three main objectives: to conduct research and generate high quality data and knowledge on water resources management; to improve water research and management capacity; and to make available and distribute reliable high quality knowledge and information about water resource management. It covers 10 irrigation schemes in three provinces of Kompong.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research / The Cambodia Australia Value Chain Program (CAVAC)

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research funds a number of research projects through The Cambodia Australia Value Chain Program.

Economic Research on trade facilitation in the Mekong

A boy standing in front of the Friendship Bridge, which spans the Mekong River

Australia is supporting infrastructure initiatives to improve economic growth and poverty reduction in the Mekong.

Photo: Jim Holmes/Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australian funding to infrastructure projects in Cambodia are part of a greater Mekong connectivity initiative to improve local people’s access to markets through infrastructure and trade reform.

In 2010, Australia commissioned the Centre for International Economics [external website] to produce a report on the economic benefits of increased trade and transport facilitation in the Greater Mekong Subregion to reinforce the economic case for Australia’s investments in these areas.

The report presents evidence to suggest that economic integration is playing an important role in the dynamic performance of the subregion, but that there is scope to expand this role by further reducing the costs of cross-border trade and transport. In most countries there is considerable room for improvement in trade and transport facilitation, and feasible changes could yield significant increases in national incomes.

The evidence suggests that complementing infrastructure investments with procedural reforms to reduce costs and delays of cross-border trade could bring about sizeable economic benefits.

CSIRO Mekong Futures

The Exploring Mekong Region Futures project [external website] aims to improve the sustainability of the Mekong Region by investigating the complex relationships between the production, distribution, and use of energy, food and water of the region.

The project focuses on the dynamic interactions that occur between the management of food, energy and water at local and regional scales.

Changes in countries in the Mekong region are shaped by factors such as cross-border investment flows, climate change, rapid land use change and urbanisation, and increasing regionalism.

Understanding this connectivity of the Mekong region requires both local and regional studies.

Challenge Program on Water and Food Mekong Basin Challenge, and the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol

The Australian Mekong Water Resources Program is funding research by the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) [external website] to improve decision-making processes on hydropower development. The research program commenced in 2011 and will start demonstrating results by 2013.

Through the CPWF and its partner the Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience, Australia has also funded the development and application of a hydropower sustainability assessment protocol in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Where is Cambodia?

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heading foldWhy we give aid


Cambodia has made considerable progress in raising living standards but it remains one of the poorest countries in East Asia. About 25 per cent of the population live in poverty and income inequality is widening between urban and rural areas, where 90 per cent of poor people live. Cambodia's progress towards meeting its 2015 Millennium Development Goals is mixed. Promoting sustainable development in Cambodia is in Australia’s interest. A more stable, prosperous Cambodia will contribute to regional economic growth and assist in fighting transnational crime.

Find out more about why we give aid to Cambodia


heading foldHow we give aid

Australia’s development assistance targets some of the Cambodia’s most pressing development needs in health, rural development, infrastructure and law and justice. Australia has a strong focus on ensuring access and equity, including for people with a disability. We balance long-term strengthening of government systems with greater support for more immediate and practical service delivery; ensuring Australian aid reaches communities in need. The Australia-Cambodia Joint Aid Program Strategy 2010-2015 guides Australia’s approach to delivering development assistance.

Find out more about how we give aid to Cambodia


heading foldProgress Against MDGs

  • Eradicate extreme hunger & poverty
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability

Last reviewed: 18 January, 2014