The U.S. government, through President Obama’s global food security initiative known as “Feed the Future,” strives to increase agricultural production, incomes, nutrition, and the resiliency of rural households. I am very pleased to inform you all that Cambodia was one of nineteen countries in the world selected to participate in this initiative.
Of the many challenges we face as a global community – and there are many – health crises constitute among the most serious. Today, the headlines tell us of the toll that Ebola has taken in West Africa. Not long ago the world faced repeated outbreaks of SARS, multiple influenzas, not to mention the continued threat posed by HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, dengue, measles – I could go on. But I won’t. What I do want to point out is that our single greatest defense against these threats is our health workers. These men and women fight on the front lines every day at great risk to themselves to protect us. Helping them to become a coordinated, disciplined, qualified, and effective fighting force is what this gathering is all about.
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.
Last updated: September 14, 2015