Preah Vihear, Cambodia, August 10, 2020 – Global Affairs Canada has approved approximately $2M CAD in funding for an ADRA COVID-19 response in the provinces of Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom, in 198 villages within the targeted project districts of Choam Ksant, Rovieng, Chey Sen, Baray, Sandan and Santuk. ADRA’s response which is operational until March 31, 2021 focuses on protecting the gains made in maternal, newborn and child health, and sexual reproductive health and rights in the “Enhance Mother/newBorn/child health in Remote Areas through health care and Community Engagement” (EMBRACE) project. It works to reduce or prevent local COVID-19 transmission, and the disproportionate gender effects of COVID-19 on women and girls at the household, community, and structural level, while working together with a local NGO partner M’day Reak Reay Kone Reak Reay.
The project will help individuals, especially women and girls, to gain access to and control over the practical resources necessary for their health and well-being during the pandemic. This will include support to individuals entering quarantine, assistance for vulnerable households who have lost their livelihoods, health and nutrition initiatives, and prevention of gender-based violence. The project will support broader public awareness raising on protective measures for individuals. The project will build the capacity of institutions to reduce transmission and to respond appropriately and sensitively to the gender specific needs of those impacted by the pandemic, including capacity building for frontline workers, health staff, and local partners in clinical management, contact tracing, identification of at-risk households, gender-based violence awareness, and appropriate response and referral.
While Cambodia currently has relatively few confirmed cases (about 241, 19% women) and has yet to experience rapid case increases and local transmission, the public health system will be quickly stressed if there is a significant outbreak. The return of migrant workers poses a significant risk for a local outbreak. Health facilities have been set-up to screen returning workers in the target provinces. Immediate support to the resource-constrained host governments’ quarantine efforts is critical to containing COVID-19 and its negative impacts at a larger scale.
Since February 2016, ADRA has been implementing the EMBRACE Project with funding from Global Affairs Canada. The project aims to improve the health and nutrition of mothers and children in targeted communities, and this additional funding will help respond to the COVID-19 impacts in target areas. The expanded target area includes additional 30 villages in the same district as EMBRACE sites and in the target area of the ADRA Maternal Child Health nutrition project “Baray-Santuk Nutrition for Under-2s and Mothers 2” Project funded by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
“We are grateful for the support of Global Affairs Canada in implementing the EMBRACE project and providing this opportunity to partner in support of the communities during this global crisis,” remarked Mark Schwisow, ADRA Cambodia Country Director. “On behalf of our local team and beneficiaries we express our thankfulness to the people of Canada for their support in ensuring that those most poor and vulnerable during this crisis have improved health and hope for the future for their children and families.”