Cambodia, a country of just over 15 million people in Southeast Asia, has made great progress after 20 years of rebuilding from decades of civil war, enjoying steady economic growth rates over the recent decade and significant improvements in quality of life. Having once had the region’s highest HIV rate, Cambodia cut its prevalence rate in half from 1998 to 2010 and has made incredible advances in education and the fight to save infant and mothers’ lives.
It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you today to “National Consultation Workshop on Agricultural Extension Policy.” USAID, through its Feed the Future Initiative, is pleased to be able to provide support for the development of an Agriculture Extension Policy in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Cambodia has made substantial progress towards achieving its Millennium Development Goals, including reaching the targets for Goals 4 and 5 years ahead of the target dates. I would like to congratulate the Royal Government of Cambodia, in particular the Ministry of Health, for its leadership in these efforts. The deployment of midwives to all health facilities and the endorsement of the midwifery incentive scheme are recognized as driving forces behind this great success.
In Cambodia today, women are living longer, healthier lives than their mothers and their mothers before them. As the nation’s health system and economic opportunities continue to improve, Cambodian women have better access to higher-quality health services and products for themselves and their families. Giving birth is safer than it has ever been in Cambodia, for both mothers and their newborns. Contraceptives and other health commodities are more readily available and affordable. Deaths due to the most lethal diseases of the past – such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV – are declining each year.
More than 1 billion people - one-sixth of the world's population - suffer from one or more neglected tropical diseases, also known as NTDs. These diseases affect the world's most vulnerable populations - those who are poorest and have little or no means to protect themselves from illness. Their impact on individuals and communities is devastating. In addition to the over 500,000 people who die annually from the consequences of NTDs - millions suffer from chronic disability, pain, disfigurement, and social stigma that keeps them from living full, productive lives.
Last updated: January 30, 2015