UNDP Signs Pact to Monitor Poverty-Reduction Strategies

The UN Development Pro­gram has signed a $1.8 million pact with the government to monitor and assess the government’s poverty reduction plans and strategies.

According to officials at the UNDP, the program will create a “broad” joint effort along these lines between government entities and the UNDP.

The government currently has a five-year poverty reduction plan as well as a poverty reduction strategy paper, both of which are aimed at fighting and reducing poverty in Cambodia. Since 1993, the Asian Development Bank has provided technical assistance in drafting the five-year poverty reduction plan. The World Bank, meanwhile, requires debtor countries who receive loans to create a poverty reduction strategy paper, which the World Bank then reviews and critiques.

The UNDP’s new program is being created to “help monitor the programs and implementation of the five-year poverty reduction plan” as well as the poverty reduction strategy paper, ADB country representative Urooj Malik said.

While the UNDP’s program aims to diminish poverty in Cam­bodia, it will not conflict with pre-existing poverty reduction programs because it was made to monitor and assess poverty re­duction in Cambodia rather than to create a plan or vision for end­­ing poverty, Malik said.

“These three [plans] all need to work in concert with each other,” he said.

The new program will also make some recommendations to the Ministry of Planning—the ministry in charge of handling both the five-year poverty reduction plan and the strategy paper, Malik said.

Confusion arose six months ago when the Ministry of Plan­ning handled the five-year poverty reduction plan while the Min­istry of Finance oversaw the drafting of the strategy paper. But officials say there has been no disorder since the government assigned the Ministry of Planning to control both the plan and strategy paper, according to Ministry of Planning secretary of state Lay Prahas.


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