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The Government of Japan has granted funding of US$ 9,259,141 from the Fiscal Year 2021 supplementary budget to UNFPA for an emergency response to COVID-19 in 13 countries across four regions: Asia and the Pacific, the Arab States, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Western and Central Africa. Around US$ 1.17 million of this funding will be used to support the Royal Government of Cambodia in building resilient and responsive health care systems to ensure that vulnerable populations in key target areas have continuous access to quality Sexual Reproductive Maternal and Neonatal Health (SRMNH) services and information during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has widely disrupted access to essential health services, including SRMNH and Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC), which are considered imperative for saving the lives of women and babies, and Cambodia is no exception. The pandemic has impacted on the continuation of all essential SRMNH health services and the utilization of those services. It has also affected capacity development initiatives for health care providers, especially the in-person, skill-building activities that ensure the quality of services. The increase in violence against women during the pandemic is another urgent concern; there is mounting evidence that victims of violence are seeking support via the internet more than ever before. In addition, opportunities for young people to access SRMNH information have been limited by the suspension of in-person schooling. The pandemic, which has been unprecedented, has highlighted the fact that emerging infectious disease exacerbates existing inequalities among vulnerable populations. Integrated health systems will be required to strengthen their approach in order to endure the ongoing pandemic and be better prepared for any future shocks.


This partnership will give UNFPA Cambodia the opportunity to work closely with key Government ministries, particularly the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport, to focus on: 


  • Enhancing EmONC in Northeastern provinces through the provision of life-saving equipment and means of referral, such as ambulances;
  • Strengthening the capacity of the healthcare workforce and enhancing the provision of essential SRMNH services by expanding E-learning platforms and introducing telemedicine;
  • Improving access to essential SRMNH information and services for vulnerable populations, including young people and gender-based violence survivors, through the use of innovative digital platforms.


His Excellency Mr. Mikami Masahiro, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia says, “Ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services and information is imperative for protecting the lives, dignity and safety of women, newborns and young people, as well as promoting their well-being." He then goes on to confirm that "The Government of Japan is committed to supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia in its response to the COVID-19 crisis and recovery. We are confident that our contribution through UNFPA will have a significant and sustainable impact, particularly on vulnerable populations, and will accelerate progress towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3, which relates to health and well-being for all, and Goal 5, which relates to gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. ”



Mr. Golden Mulio, Representative a.i., UNFPA Cambodia says, “I am extremely grateful to the people and the Government of Japan for the timely and generous support they are providing. It will help us to build a resilient and responsive health care system in Cambodia and ensure vulnerable populations have access to quality SRMNH services and information during this unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic. This contribution will also allow us to further enhance EmONC functions in order to save lives and will support the introduction of new digital technologies for better health care and well-being using the ‘build back better’ strategy.”


UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Its mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA has been present in Cambodia since 1993 and has supported the Royal Government of Cambodia’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals identified at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Its overall goal is to achieve universal access to services and information on sexual reproductive health and rights and reduce maternal mortality and it is doing this by applying the principles, set out in the 2030 Agenda, of “leaving no one behind” and “reaching the furthest behind first”.