Development Partner Remarks

Social Protection

Delivered by Mr. Jean-Pierre de Margerie, World Food Programme Country Representative, on behalf of Development Partners at the 17th Meeting of The Government-Development Partner Coordination Committee

Phnom Penh, October 18 2010



Excellency Keat Chhon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of development partners at this morningís Government-Donor Coordination Committee. It is a timely and useful forum which enables us to follow up on the agreed actions of the 3rd CDCF held in June this year, which notably prioritized the approval of the National Social Protection Strategy for the poor and vulnerable.

I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development and in particular His Excellency Yim Chhay Ly and Excellency Ngy Chanphal for continued efforts over the last year and a half in moving forward the social protection agenda.  

Development partners welcome the submission of the NSPS to the Council of Ministers and its review by the relevant technical committees and look forward to the approval of the Strategy and imminent commencement of the first phase of implementation. DPs continue to support this approach regarding the NSPS as a relevant and appropriate tool in addressing poverty, shielding the vulnerable and stimulating sustainable economic growth, as outlined in the NSDP update and the Royal Governmentís CMDG Report.

DPs welcome the forthcoming costing of the NSPS as affirmed at the CDCF. DPs stand ready to support the process of delivering on this commitment and welcome any early estimation of the total cost of the NSPS and any notional indication of levels of financial support to be expected and forecasted from both Government and DP funding sources. DPs will gladly provide information relevant for the costing as required. The provision of indicative costing figures is likely to help promote short and medium-term investment in the harmonization and scaling up of existing programmes, and the piloting of new programmes, thus helping to close some of the gaps in coverage of existing social safety nets in Cambodia. DPs continue to support the idea that investments in social protection are strategically wise investments from both a social and economic perspective and will assist long-term development goals without creating unsustainable fiscal burden through significant returns on investment.

DPs congratulate CARD on the establishment of the Social Protection Coordination Unit which marks significant progress in the formation of appropriate institutional arrangements for the coordination of the NSPS.  As one of the first interactions with the SPCU, DPs took part in CARDís coordinated series of workshops held during the last week in September, ending with a dialogue between DPs, CARD and line ministries at the Council of Ministers. Both the workshop and the broader dialogue were important steps in kick-starting the process of greater coordination, harmonization, alignment and ultimately effectiveness of social protection activities. Key areas of common focus were identified and the important role of information-sharing was emphasized. IDPoor was identified by MOP as the main targeting tool for social protection. DPs support steps towards aligning IDPoor to the targeting requirements of the NSPS including through the discussion of data needs of key programmes in the early stages of the implementation of the NSPS. This will ensure that the IDPoor tool can effectively meet targeting requirements.

As an outcome of this workshop, DPs welcome the development of common guiding principles which can support the harmonization and scaling up of existing programmes as well as inform the technical design of new programmes such as cash transfers and public works. DPs support the Roadmap for the Implementation of the NSPS as a basis for moving quickly and effectively into the phase of implementation.