Joint Donor Statement on Human
Development - NSDP Social Sector Priorities
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
1. As donor partners, we welcome the focus on human development and NSDP social sector priorities at this GDCC meeting. We take this opportunity to highlight progress in these areas, priority issues for consideration and to discuss impact of the Organic Law on service delivery at local levels and achievement of NSDP and CMDG social sector targets and our current JMIs.
2. We have seen significant progress in the social sectors in 2007. This has included the Government of Cambodia's final promulgation of the Education Law and succession to the EFA Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund; the development of the next Health Sector Strategy 2008 - 2015; establishment of the TWG for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation and finalization of the Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition, and drafting of the 2008 Cambodia Gender Assessment.
3. Within this context however, there are issues that require our attention:
4. In moving forward, it is clear that sectoral interventions must be supported by strong robust governance systems, underpinned by government's wider reform initiatives including financial management, public administrative reform and decentralization and deconcentration. The draft Organic Law demonstrates commitment to democratic development, and we feel it is essential to increase engagement on the organic law with all social sector ministries, including the Ministries of Education, Health, Rural Development, Social Affairs and others. Their active membership in the National Committee for Decentralisation and Deconcentration, and consultation on the first package of functions to be decentralized will be essential to ensure social sector priorities and targets are achieved. We also reinforce the importance of continuing to give priority attention to transformative gender work, and that laws and provisions that address gender inequity are enforced with appropriate accountability mechanisms in place.
5. We would like to recommend that sufficient focus is given to strengthening existing sub national participatory planning, fiscal transfer and accountability mechanisms so that the poorest and most vulnerable will have a voice in determining needs and allocation of resources. We would like to reinforce the importance of the provincial and district councils and devolving adequate power and resources to support these functions and development plans.
6. In conclusion, we are glad to have this opportunity to discuss key social development issues central to improving the livelihoods of Cambodia's women, children and men. There are a number of important priorities within this statement that require our immediate attention. We look forward to monitoring this progress at future GDCC and CDCF meetings and maintaining a focus on the critical linkages between Cambodia's human development priorities, governance and economic goals.