Beyond Recovery: Towards 2030

Beyond Recovery: Towards 2030


Our Evolving Response 

The pandemic response by the Royal Government of Cambodia has been highly effective with no COVID related deaths or community transmission so far. The country is however, facing a steep economic downturn and severe social dislocations. Economic growth expected to turn negative to -4.1% and poverty to almost double to 17.6%. Key socio-economic drivers are the external demand shocks faced by Cambodia’s leading sectors that have faced substantial declines, particularly in textiles, tourism and construction.

Cambodia’s vulnerability is accentuated by its narrowly based and highly open economy; having a large proportion of households just above the poverty line; and its early stage of both social safety net and healthcare coverage.

UNDP, in close collaboration with the UN Country Team and under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, is delivering a comprehensive package of immediate support to the Royal Government and people of Cambodia. At the same time the UN including UNDP is working to seize the opportunity to adapt and improve development policies and build back better as Cambodia emerges from this pandemic.

The Government of Australia has been a major partner in UNDP’s COVID response, contributing $1.5 million to these programmes. The 6 pillars of UNDP’s response are as follows and detailed in the sections below:

UNDP's Offer 2.0 

Contributing to healthcare services and access to information

Emergency international procurement of more than $5 million worth of critical medical equipment at the request of the Ministry of Health financed from concessional loans from the World Bank. The initiative has, to date, ensured the arrival of 50 ventilators and 5,000 testing cartridges to strengthen Cambodia’s healthcare facilities and their ability to respond to COVID-19.

Countering the misinformation pandemic. In collaboration with UNICEF, OHCHR and WHO, UNDP is producing social media content that addresses healthy behaviour and risk mitigation, countering domestic violence and responding to mental health issues exacerbated by the pandemic. Support is also being provided to alternative media start-ups led by women to raise awareness of health-related issues and to tackle social stigma.

Uprooting inequalities through social protection

With resources from the Australian Government, UNDP is supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia in its socio-economic recovery measures by:

Conducting critical economic modelling to support the Royal Government of Cambodia’s policy response to COVID-19. UNDP’s distributional and socioeconomic analysis has has supported the Ministry of Economy and Finance in designing the Government’s stimulus packages.

Technically leading on the  formulation of the United Nations’ Commitment to Cambodia on the socioeconomic response to COVID-19.

Supporting the Government to build and roll out its first social assistance cash transfer system for all Cambodians living below the national poverty line, in collaboration with UNICEF, ILO, WFP, WHO and GIZ. This includes the distribution of 1,700 new tablets to enable provincial and commune authorities to register new recipients faster and ensure they receive rapid cash transfers sooner. UNDP is further providing assistance to ensure the registration process is transparent and effective.

Undertaking socio-economic impact assessments of COVID-19 on MSMEs and informal sector workers with three rounds of data collection conducted at timed intervals. 

Building a greener, more resilient economy 

UNDP is supporting impacted farmers, workers with livelihoods reliant on natural resources, and all Cambodians dependent on a greener, more resilient economy by:

Providing digital solutions for smallholder farmers in collaboration with the Government of Australia. This is being done through support to an agritech start-up that will register 1,200 new farmers on a platform to provide them with access to market information, knowledge and new technology.

Protecting natural resources and the livelihoods dependent on their management by leveraging resources from the Government of Sweden to support forest-dependent communities through cash-for-work tree planting.

Ensuring borders are kept open for trade between Cambodia and its neighboring countries to support a COVID-19 resilient economy, including the development of sanitary protocols to ensure minimal risks are incurred. This is being partly resourced by the Government of Australia.

Engaging informal waste sector workers impacted by COVID-19 in the transition to a circular economy.

Digital transformation and innovation for effective access to essential services & scale

UNDP is supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia in its digital transformation by:

Ensuring essential learning continues through digital solutions, by selecting and testing a digital learning platform. This will enable students to continue to learn and prepare for national exams, with a focus on the potential to scale up digital learning solutions for rural schools, and ultimately for schools across the country.

Accelerating the transition to e-commerce platforms through engaging youth in some of the most impacted industries, such as tourism and hospitality, and reskilling start-ups to survive and thrive in the new normal of COVID-19 and beyond. This initiative is benefitting from resources leveraged from the Government of Australia.



UNDP has dedicated its core resources of USD 1.15 million in support of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s and UN system’s response. The World Bank has provided USD 8,876,000 for procurements in support of the health system.  


Available Budget USD


Total USD

Economic stimulus




Emergency social protection








Circular economy




Countering misinformation




Health system support