At the American Chamber of Commerce’s (AmCham) latest luncheon talk, guest speaker Rebecca Black, USAID Cambodia’s Mission Director, urged guests to join the fight to improve standards in areas such as education, health, democracy and human rights across the Kingdom.
Black says, “We know that what we do is a small piece of the development process and the private sector really can help. We want to work closer with the private sector because it is through private investment that the country will develop in terms of economic growth and we can find ways of working together to achieve mutual goals.”
USAID – the U.S. Agency for International Development – is the U. S. government’s development cooperation agency, funded by the American tax payer. USAID began providing assistance to Cambodia in the 1950s. It left the country in the 1970s during the civil war and returned in 1992 to continue its humanitarian and development work. It also works with all political parties to help develop the democratic system.
“Human rights and democracy are our top priorities for the U.S. government in Cambodia. Helping improve health, education, and food security are also important to us and we use different ways to help Cambodians live better lives and express themselves freely,” Black adds.
In Cambodia, USAID joined forces with the private sector to carry out extensive training to improve productivity and standards in 40 of the country’s garment factories.
And Black adds an example of a solid working partnership exists in India where child health and nutrition are huge problems. Poor sanitation is often the cause; washing hands with soap is a key prevention. USAID worked with a soap company to help market the use of soap to save children’s lives.
Black comments, “This really shows how the private sector can work with us to help develop Cambodia and I invite any interested parties to get involved.”
To find out more about USAID, visit www.usaid.gov/cambodia