Remarks by Dr. Sang Lee, Food Security & Environment Team, USAID Cambodia, WASH-FIN/Cambodia Program Planning Workshop

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Remarks by Dr. Sang Lee, Food Security & Environment Team, USAID Cambodia, WASH-FIN/Cambodia Program Planning Workshop

(as prepared for delivery)


  • Your Excellency, Chea Samnang, Cabinet Chief for Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Yim Chhay Ly, Chair of the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development
  • Representatives from the Royal Government of Cambodia, development partners, civil society partners,
  • Your excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen

On behalf of the U.S. Embassy and USAID Cambodia, I am pleased to be here to launch this Program Planning Workshop for the USAID WASH-FIN activity in Cambodia. WASH-FIN – or Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Finance – is a five-year global activity funded by USAID and implemented by Tetra Tech. In Cambodia, WASH-FIN will assist water and sanitation providers to access money to close the financing gaps in expanding piped water supply. We will work closely with WASH-FIN’s in-country team and core collaborators, including the Cambodian Water Supply Association, or CWA, to guide them towards the best private water providers.

I am especially pleased to inform the workshop participants that USAID is continuing to co-facilitate the Food Security and Nutrition Technical Working Group together with the Council for Agriculture and Rural Development – a strong and long-term partner of USAID in all of our nutrition and WASH programs. As many of you know, USAID has placed great importance on improving the nutrition of small children throughout our programming, and activities like this explicitly recognize the direct relationship between clean water, sanitation, and health issues.

The goal of WASH-FIN’s Cambodia activity is to support private water operators complete loan agreements with commercial banks in order to expand WASH access and improve their service delivery. The will be achieved by providing technical assistance and strengthening the performance of private water operators, local financial institutions, and other WASH sector stakeholders.

I would like to congratulate Cambodia for the considerable progress it has made in the past decade, in particular on access to water and sanitation coverage. However, there is still a long way to go. Cambodia still has the lowest access to piped water supply in South East Asia, estimated to be 21 percent of households in 2015. Only 7 percent of rural households have access to piped water services on their premises, in contrast to 75 percent of urban households. Several provinces and rural areas are currently serviced by private water operators.  Largely due to the low access rate and disparities between rural and urban areas, the Royal Government of Cambodia has prioritized the acceleration of access to piped water services in partnership with private water operators. This approach, articulated in its National Strategic Development Plan, is quite unique and progressive.

These private operators are typically small to medium size enterprises, or SMEs. Over the years, USAID Cambodia has helped numerous SMEs expand their businesses under our Micro to Small to Medium Sized Enterprises Project. This project connected more than 10,000 households to safe water in Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kampong Cham, and Kratie provinces. USAID has also played a critical role in helping to introduce sector-wide reforms, providing technical and financial assistance to enable the establishment of the Cambodian Water Supply Association. We are building on these successes to make another big push toward increasing access to safe drinking water through systems and approaches that are strong and sustainable.

USAID fully supports Cambodia’s drive to meet its goal of expanding the piped supply of safe drinking water and is enthusiastic to have the support of WASH-FIN towards the fulfillment of this goal.

Today we are here to share our collective experience in the Cambodian WASH sector, learn from each other, and identify ways to collaborate. I look forward to a fruitful discussion that will help to shape the WASH-FIN activity so that it can benefit all Cambodians.

Thank you.   

Phnom Penh
Issuing Country 

Last updated: September 06, 2018

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