Cambodia feted with IFAD Gender Award in Rome

Cambodia feted with IFAD Gender Award in Rome

Cambodia came under the spotlight in Europe recently as its project was bestowed with a prestigious honour

in Rome. At the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ’s annual Governing Council, the Tonle Sap Smallholder Development Project

– Additional Financing (TSSD-AF) – co-financed by IFAD and the Asian Development Bank – was awarded a Gender Award.

The award recognised exceptional achievements in empowering rural women living along the Tonle Sap basin. The project, one of five awardees, was chosen after a rigorous selection process.

“The project financed by IFAD improved the livelihoods of women at the grassroots level and they are now better off in their community and in the village,” said project manager Ny Kimsan at the awards.

At a panel discussion among the awardees, Lim Sereyroth, TSSD-AF Gender Advisor, highlighted how the project worked to build rural institutions that empowered rural women as much as rural men giving them a space at the table off the field.

“IFAD financed projects target rural people focusing on activities that address existing imbalances by enhancing economic and career opportunities, decision making and reducing workloads, particularly for women,” said IFAD Country Director, Frew Behabtu.

The award to the TSSD-AF will motivate other ongoing projects to follow and build on this path, he added.

TSSD-AF improved rural women’s economic empowerment and increased access to finance for rural women, with over 70 percent of funds made available as part of the IFAD-designed Group Revolving Funds being accessed by women. Rural women also received training to improve business and financial literacy, leadership, adopt climate-smart practices, and the ability to manage and reduce disaster risk.

Women emerged as leaders, making up nearly 60 percent of all management committee members across 270 communes in seven target provinces. Women were also able to unlock equitable employment with equal pay for unskilled work in infrastructure projects. Women made up half of the recruited Commune Mobile Access Worker staff, with many using the work experience and skills they acquired to get better jobs in NGOs, the private sector and sub-national government structures.

“Consistent with the original TSSD project, which began over a decade ago, TSSD additional financing has prioritized the inclusion of women smallholder farmers who were trapped in poverty resulting in better livelihoods, increased social capital and higher incomes,” said Hem Chanthou, ABD’s Senior Project Officer.

The IFAD Gender Awards were held at the IFAD Headquarters in Rome, Italy on February 14. The Governing Council held from February 14-15, was attended by high-level government officials, ministers, development professionals, innovation experts and small-scale farmers from all over the world to discuss how IFAD and its partners could better harness innovation to serve the needs of poor rural communities and people. khmertimeskh

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