Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Food crisis: Cambodia is “not in the red”

Cambodge Soir


According to Douglas Broderick, the UN coordinator in Cambodia, the country is not among the 24 countries at risk by the food crisis.

“The words ‘food crisis’ cannot apply to Cambodia” declared Douglas Broderick, The UN coordinator in Cambodia on Friday October 24. He made this statement during the presentation of a UN- Cambodia co-operation report.

“Cambodia is not among the 24 countries listed in the red zone. The issue lies more within underprivileged families who do not have sufficient resources to buy food in some regions”. Last May the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), a UN body designated 22 vulnerable States to the food crisis and Cambodia was among them.

During this press conference Douglas Broderick and Rafael Dochao Moreno, the chargé d’affaires, representative of the European Commission in Phnom Penh presented the results of the co-operation policy.

“In recent years, the European Commission contributed 18 million Euros (US$ 22.7 million) to implement development activities through UN agencies in Cambodia. Among them are projects and programmes in supporting sustainable development in basic health, to improve the quality of life and rural areas economic development, to build constructions for commune councils and to finance the Khmer Rouge tribunals”, declared Rafael Dochao Moreno. When asked about the real will of international organisations to fight corruption and to force government leaders to publish their private means, Rafael Dochao Moreno mentioned his native country: “in Spain when I was a student to submit an application file, one had to put a bribe at each administrative level of responsibility. I think this should sounds familiar to a lot of Cambodians...but the Spain took measures by increasing civil servant salaries, by adopting strict regulations and heavy fines while improving the educational system”.

“Spain is now regarded as a kind of model for applying strategies in fighting corruption. It took 40 years, a simple Law won’t change everything”, he added.

As for Douglas Broderick when asked on the real impact of the UN activities on the Cambodian economy, he asserted that UN agencies were doing their best to favour "local resources" and to train their Cambodian staff "skills and techniques".

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