The EU has been a major development partner of Cambodia since the early 1990s. EU-funded initiatives in sectors ranging from education and agriculture to public financial management and trade related assistance have benefited millions of Cambodians. EU support is designed to support the Royal Government of Cambodia's policies, as reflected in the Government's Medium Term Development Plans.

The European Union's development assistance to Cambodia currently totals 410 million euros in bilateral cooperation for 2014-2020 and 21 million euros in thematic budget lines for 2014-2017 (approximately 457.3 and 23.4 million USD respectively). These funds allow the EU to concentrate its support on priority sectors in Cambodia that have significant impact on the country's development.

  • Agriculture and Natural Resource Management: Focusing on the Fisheries sector with additional support for Livestock and Natural Resource Management, the current support seeks to increase food security, improve nutrition, protect aquatic habitats and other ecosystems, increase the economic value of agricultural products, improve animal health and address climate change.
  • Education and Skills development: The focus of the current support is on increased and equitable access to quality education at primary and secondary level. Specific attention is paid to sector reforms, and to areas such as early childhood education, school operating budgets, scholarships, teacher qualifications, quality assurance and national learning assessments.
  • Governance and Administration: Improved governance is key for lasting development in Cambodia. The EU currently supports the Royal Government of Cambodia in implementing "all of government" reforms such as the Public Financial Management reform and the Sub-National Democratic Development reform (decentralisation), with a particular focus on transparency and promoting citizens voices. The EU also provides assistance to Electoral reform in the area of voter registration and to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (Khmer Rouge Tribunal).

Regional programmes that benefit the country include support to Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to deepen economic integration, economic growth and sustainable development. Sustainable consumption and production is promoted through the SWITCH Asia programme. Finally, the Asia Investment Facility provides co-funding to infrastructure development projects.


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Key country statistics

  • Total population (2015): 15 578 000
  • Life expectancy (at birth) (2015): 66 years (male), 70 years (female)
  • Human Development Index - Medium human development (2014): 0.555
  • Population living below $1.90 a day (2012): 6.2%
  • Income share held by lowest 40% of income distribution (2012): 21.7%
  • Low income country - Gross National Income per capita (2014): 702 US$ (constant 2005 US$)
  • Average Gross Domestic Product growth over 5 years (2009-2013): 5.6 %

Selected results achieved with EU support through projects and programmes completed between mid-2014 and mid-2015

Inclusive Growth and poverty reduction

  • 1 700 households in Siem Reap province increased income due to better employment opportunities; through various intensive vocational trainings they were able to access better paid jobs as mechanics, dressmakers, beauticians and various roles in the hospitality industry. 82% of all trainees were employed by the end of the project
  • 7 500 farming households in the provinces of Otdar Meanchey and Preah Vihear have benefitted from more viable supply chains including more informed and fair trade procedures from the farm to the bulk/ retail buyer. The smallholder farmers notably increased their productivity and upgraded their post harvesting techniques by which they could earn more profit from their agriculture production

Trade and Private sector development

  • 2 300 small and medium-sized enterprises from the agro-industrial sector have had access to credits with the aim of enhancing SME development and investment in the sector

Agriculture and Food Security

  • 6 000 farmers (4 100 cashew growers and 1 900 rice growers) received training in agricultural production
  • 1 300 persons in 7 urban Sankats (communes) of Siem Reap province graduated from vocational and educational training in the fields of horticulture, micro-business development and entrepreneurship skills and subsequently received a small grant from project. This resulted in the poor target households improving their income and home based food production


  • 35 district offices of education have acquired the ability to use strategic and operational planning instruments and developed their annual operational plans. This resulted in district offices being able to improve the analysis of data from their district as well as improve the quality of data recorded by schools in the Education Management Information System

Conflict prevention, peace building and security

  • 2 000 former victims were actively involved in legal procedures as civil parties, enjoying thus rights broadly similar to the prosecution and the defence.
  • 118 000 people were targeted by outreach activities, for example through weekly radio shows and daily broadcasts during trials, the publication of monthly public information bulletin on the activities of the Court.

Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change

  • 22 inhabitants from the Cardamom Mountains were trained as community wardens and conducted protection patrols of the Stung Ate and Stung Chai Areng hydroelectric dam site watersheds and surrounding protected areas with the aim of reducing deforestation, forest degradation and biodiversity loss

Water and Sanitation

  • 2 500 women have participated in nutrition and hygiene training and subsequently adopted at least one measure learnt


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