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Cambodia and Australia Initiate ACCESS 2 Program to Support Marginalized Communities

Phnom Penh, April 8, 2024: The Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS 2) program was officially launched in Phnom Penh on April 5. The event saw the participation of key figures including Chea Somethy, Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Prof. Chheang Ra, Minister of Health, and Australian Ambassador to Cambodia Justin Whyatt.

The initiative aims to bolster the efforts of the Cambodian government and civil society organizations in enhancing services for individuals with disabilities and women suffering from gender-based violence, according to statements from the Australian Embassy in Cambodia.

With a commitment of AUD 30 million from Australia spanning five years (2023 – 2028), the program supports the implementation of the National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women and the National Disability Strategic Plan.

The program is designed to operate both at the national level and within four specific target provinces: Siem Reap, Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, and Rattanakiri. Efforts to aid persons with disabilities will include physical rehabilitation and the promotion of inclusive public services, while initiatives for gender-based violence (GBV) survivors will encompass health care, legal protection, social services, and the facilitation of coordinated service delivery.

Moreover, ACCESS 2 places a strong emphasis on empowering organizations that represent survivors of GBV and individuals with disabilities, supporting their involvement in policy development and planning processes. This approach underscores a comprehensive strategy to address the needs of marginalized communities, marking a significant step forward in ensuring equitable and sustainable services for all Cambodians.

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