Over the last 8 years, President Obama's signature development initiatives have reduced poverty, malnutrition, and mortality, all while spurring entrepreneurship and innovation, empowering women and girls, and helping to build more stable, accountable, and inclusive partners for the United States. Whether it's combating hunger, preventing the spread of deadly diseases, or increasing access to education and clean energy, USAID is achieving real results that change people's lives for the better - despite the often harsh realities of the sharp-edged world we live in.
The U.S. government in collaboration with UNICEF is committed to advancing Cambodia’s development, beginning with its children. We’ve taken a close look at this issue in Cambodia. The best way to tackle the problem, we believe, is to take an integrated approach to build strong beginnings, put family care first, and protect children. The early experiences of children have long-term impact on their bodies and brains. That’s why we support actions that underline the importance of body AND brain health, including nutrition and positive caregiving. They should also emphasize the importance of families to children's growth and development and education.
Over the past three years, we have increased our work specifically on nutrition with the support of the Feed the Future initiative. USAID is proud to partner with the Royal Government of Cambodia to tackle the problem of stunting. Working together, we’re focusing our efforts on the first 1,000 days of Cambodian children’s lives. We want our efforts to save lives, build resilience, increase economic productivity, and advance the country’s development. Our NOURISH project, led by Save the Children and the Rice Field Fisheries II project, led by WorldFish are two key initiatives supporting these efforts.
Innovation is a hallmark of U.S. assistance in the health sector and this is an innovative and vibrant approach to increase HIV testing and support the 90-90-90 strategy. I am confident that our partnerships can help generate further innovations to benefit our health objectives. I’m proud that USAID through PEPFAR, has been a strong partner with South Africa in the fight against HIV and we will continue to partner because, despite great success, there is still much to do. Once again I applaud the South African Government for their commitment to the fight against HIV.
We consider human trafficking to be a global human rights challenge. It preys upon the vulnerable, breaks down rule of law, and corrupts global commerce. No challenge may be greater than the transnational crime of human trafficking which impacts millions of people worldwide each year including Cambodia.
Through the Memorandum of Understanding that we are about to sign, we –– USAID and NPC –– are aligning our collective commitment to protect natural forests from deforestation and degradation through the use of LAWIN.
The United States and France have long enjoyed an effective and productive partnership in many different areas, and advancing international development objectives is a key part of that collaboration. France has a strong track record of supporting energy related activities in sub-Saharan Africa and focusing on energy infrastructure development as a means to support social and economic development. So we are thrilled to partner with France as Power Africa works to achieve the goals of adding 30,000 MW and 60 million connections to Africa’s power sector by 2030.
We are here today to celebrate two things that Cambodia can count among its riches: beautiful art and abundant natural resources like its forests and rivers. Even in my short time in Cambodia, I’m truly impressed by the wealth of traditional art as well as the country’s natural beauty. These are very special gifts and it is up to all of us to make sure that they are nurtured and protected.
We know that climate-related shocks will become more severe in the future and that they will affect agriculture and landscapes. For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa, total production for maize could decline by up to 22% by 2050 due to climate change. So, we must recognize that if we are going to end hunger and extreme poverty, we need to adapt to tomorrow’s climate. That is why, in USAID, we continue to integrate what we know about climate change into all of our programs, and help countries transition to climate-resilient, low-emission economic development.
I’ll begin by thanking Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and his team at the Department of Health for inviting me to give a message of support on behalf of USAID and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; better known to most of you as PEPFAR. It is an honor for me to join you today to mark World Prematurity Day. Maternal and child health is a significant focus of the U.S. government throughout Southern Africa. USAID works closely with many South African partners on maternal and child HIV prevention and care and treatment programs, with a strong emphasis on reducing mother to child transmission, and safeguarding orphans and vulnerable children.
Last updated: February 24, 2017