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A.           Rational

1.         On 2 October 2008, the ADB approved the Emergency Food Assistance Project (the Project) with the total amount of $35 million (excluding Government contribution of $4.39 million). The Project was designed to improve immediate food security of an estimated 500,000 poor and vulnerable people affected by higher food prices through higher food intake through: (i) Compensatory Consumption Support: (ii) Productivity Enhancement Support; and (iii) Capacity Development for Emergency Response to Food Crisis and Project Management. The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) is the executing agency (EA) and the National Food Security Task Force (the Task Force), headed by MEF and representatives from concerned ministries, and agencies is established to provide overall policy guidance on project implementation. Based on the major change in scope endorsed by the ADB Vice President in June 2009, the original design was modified to address the economic crisis in 2009 that was not originally envisaged and the Project has a total revised project cost of $30 million excluding counterpart fund of $4.39 million. The ADB endorsed the no-cost extension of the original closing date from 30 September 2011 to 30 September 2012 to prepare for the establishment and operationalization of the Cambodia Food Reserve System to respond to emergencies.

2.         Project Performance. The Initial phase of the Project is considered to be performing well according to the ADB’s additional financing policy. There was no major start up or implementation delay. Within two weeks after the Project became effective on 14 October 2008, the Project was able to carry out 12,000 tons of free rice distribution to 68,000 households in 200 targeted communes during the food lean period in 2008. After the free rice distribution, a series of planned short-and medium-term interventions were carried out in the 200 communes. As of February 2012, the cumulative physical progress achieved was 92.75%. Planned contracts were fully awarded, and out of the total allocation of $29.17 million from ADF grant and loan combined $28.31 million (97%) inclusive of advances to the imprest account was disbursed. The Project has progressed satisfactorily according to cumulative contract awards and disbursements. The Project is rated on track in the project performance rating, which demonstrates the EA’s strong coordination and implementation capacity to implement multi-sectoral interventions.

3.         The last project review mission (25 November-7 December 2011) reported that the Project exceeded the targets and has been successful in achieving the intended outputs and outcome. The Project increased the access to food by food insecure households through increased agricultural production and timely social safety net interventions. The Project increased the access to food for 215,137 households (190.39% of the original 113,000 households) through distribution of free rice, implementation of Cash for Work (CFW), Food for Work (FFW), and civil work contracts, school scholarship, school feeding, etc.  Providing hot breakfast to 65,387 primary school students and scholarship to 10,443 primary and secondary school students reduced the burden on a household expenditure and increased the ability to buy food. The Project created over 1.93 million workdays for 71,133 households through CFW, FFW, and civil work contracts, and improved productive assets (about 700km rural road and over 18,000 ha of irrigated land). The Project also responded to the immediate needs of the flood affected farmers in 2009, 2010 and 2011 by providing quality rice seeds to make up for their lost harvest. The Project has increased the local availability and access to quality seeds for over 73,000 small and marginal farmers by distributing 1,985.8 tons of quality seeds that were procured from AQIP over three planting seasons (May 2009-May 2010) with extension services. 

4.         While the Project intended to provide one-off emergency countermeasures, the original scope has evolved based on lessons learned and implementation needs to include interventions that address structural constraints faced by many poor smallholders that cause low productivity. In particular, CFW scheme including a small-scale civil works contract was introduced as a result of the major change to complement machine-based works with labor-based soil works to improve tertiary canals and road for increased production and market access. Quality seed production was introduced based on the mid-term project review in July 2010 followed by the minor change in scope endorsed in 20 September 2010 to sustain increases in rice yields (40-47% on average). Quality seed production and sales at affordable prices increased local availability to poor smallholders, which in turn is creating demand for quality seeds, and contributing to the development of quality seed production.

5.         Producing the recommendations for the emergency food reserve system was an original output of the Project. As the recommendations were endorsed by the National Food Security Task Force in June 2011 and the Prime Minister in July 2011, the Project was extended by one year to draft sub-decree, agreements and standard operating procedures and to carry out consultation for the establishment of Cambodia Food Reserve System (CFRS)using the grant savings. The sub-decree was approved by the Prime Minister in September 2012. The CFRS is one of the government efforts to develop a long-term mechanism to build a resilience at the country and household levels to minimize food insecurity, avoid taking negative coping strategies, and maintain farm production.

 6.         GAFSP. The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) approved a provisional allocation of $39.1 million to the Kingdom of Cambodia. ADB participates in GAFSP as a Supervising Entity. The government, GAFSP Steering Committee and ADB agreed to utilize GAFSP-allocated $24.5 million as additional financing to the Project to implement the Cambodia GAFSP components 1: Raising Agricultural Productivity and Component 3: Reducing Risk and Vulnerability to: (a) improve synergies and maximize the development impacts; (b) avoid duplication and the risk of exceeding the absorptive capacity of the institutions in charge of agriculture and food security investments; and (c) utilize the existing implementation structure to realize faster disbursement. The GAFSP component 1 and 3 include nutrition and diversified livelihood activities that include hygiene awareness, disaster preparedness and response in agriculture.

B.           Project Needs

7.         The food insecure households are characterized by their inability not only to produce and supply sufficient food but also to buy or obtain sufficient food. They experience rice shortage several months of the year. They are constrained by limited access to productive assets, agricultural technologies and quality inputs, finance, and information. Poor households in the target areas are facing frequent floods and drought.

8.         The poverty concentration in the communes in the project targeted provinces varies from 35% to 45% and the majority of them are the project beneficiaries. Most of these beneficiary households were affected by the severe floods in 2011. Increased indebtedness was reported by the post disaster assessment by WFP, FAO, and CARE Cambodia. The target communes also have the highest malnutrition concentration. Children under 5 years have high stunting (31-56%), wasting (7-20%), and underweight (17-37%) rates. Women suffer from nutritional deficiencies (BMI varies in between 20 to 44%). In addition to inadequate accessibility, quality and utilization of health services, poor hygiene, sanitation and nutrition practices in families are leading to poor health and nutrition.

 9.         Socio-economic characteristics of the target food insecure households are such that working with them will require a targeted approach. This is to cover not only production but also income earning opportunity and empowerment of their overall capacity, including social, financial, and behavioral aspects, to increase productivity in a reliable manner year by year and diversify livelihood to diversify income and consumption bases. The intended impact and outcome of the Additional Financing are as follows: Impact - reduced vulnerability of food insecure households in the target provinces and outcome - improved access to sufficient and nutritious food by food insecure households. The intended impact and outcome are consistent with the objective of the original GAFSP proposal: enhanced agricultural productivity of the poor and smallholder households in the food insecure and economically depressed areas in Cambodia. 

C.           Change in Scope

10.       The additional financing is consistent with the ADB's Country Partnership Strategy for 2011–2013 and supports various government strategies like the Strategy for Agriculture and Water 2010-2013, National Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (2008-2012) and the National Social Protection Strategy for the Poor and Vulnerable (April 2011). The additional financing brought a change in scope as follows: (i) upscale CFW, quality seeds and fertilizer distribution with training, and quality seed production in the new target communes in the 10 GAFSP target provinces; (ii) continue strengthening the capacity and information and data management system supporting food security at the national and provincial levels; (iii) include new activities focusing on nutrition and diversified livelihood; and (iv) modify indicators for outputs, outcome and impact. The remaining interventions (short-term emergency measures) under the Project did not require additional financing.

11.         The intended impact is reduced vulnerability of food-insecure households in the target provinces. Impact indicators have been modified to quantify the impacts. The intended outcome is improved access to sufficient and nutritious food by food insecure households. There are five modified indicators. The Design and Monitoring Framework (DMF) for the scope for Additional Financing summarizes the revised scope and performance indicators.

12.         Expected outputs for the Additional Financing are as follows: (i) increased availability to and awareness of nutritious food and hygiene among the food-insecure households; (ii) increased access to improved agricultural inputs and technologies among food-insecure farmers and women; (iii) improved capacity to mainstream to food security; and (iv) effective project implementation and management. 

13.         Output 1: Increased Availability and Awareness of Nutritious Food and Hygiene among the Food-insecure Households. The food insecure households are characterized by their inability not only to produce and supply sufficient food but also to buy or obtain sufficient food. They are constrained by limited access to productive assets. There is a synergy between an increased food diversification, nutrition, sanitation and health. Family food security and nutritional status link closely to women’s role in preparing meals for their families. During times of food shortage, women typically buffer their families at the expense of their own consumption, which can have long-term negative intergenerational effects if mothers are malnourished during pregnancy and lactation.

 14.         The activities under the Additional Financing include: (i) CFW including civil work contracts to rehabilitate rural road and canals to support increased access to markets and other public services; (ii) improvement of nutrition and health through (a) food use, nutrition and basic healthcare training to women and children; (b) home gardening training to individual poor, self-help groups and farmer organizations; and (c) sanitation inputs and training.  

 15.         Output 2: Increased Access to Improved Agricultural Inputs and Technologies among Food-insecure Farmers and Women. Smallholders are often not aware of the potential benefits of improved agriculture inputs, have little or no technical information about their use, are often supplied with degraded or diluted or out-of-date products, and have no legal recourse in the case of disputes with suppliers (themselves often ignorant of their own products’ quality and use). Under the Project, 73,625 poor smallholder farmers increased yields by 40-47% (on average) with quality seeds and fertilizer use, reduced food gap by 3 months, and appreciated the effect of the quality rice seeds and training on integrated nutrients management (use of appropriate dose of organic and inorganic fertilizer).

16.         Expansion of on-farm activities to include livestock and aquaculture will diversify agricultural production, increase income sources, reduce dependency on natural resources, and diversify consumption bases that lead to improved nutrients intake by mothers and children. The Additional Financing (i) promotes the use of quality seeds (rice, vegetable and other crops) to enable reliable increase in yields through quality seed and fertilizer sales at affordable prices; (ii) supports  quality seed production at Toul Samroang Rice Seed Farm and KbalKoh Vegetable Research Stations; (iii) promotes livestock and aquaculture to diversify production and consumption base; and (iv) promotes disaster preparedness and mitigation in agriculture (e.g., crop contingency planning).  The Additional Financing is targeted to provide support for 400 existing and/or established Self Help Groups to strengthen collective capacities of smallholder farmers to increase production, improve marketing, and manage risks and integrate disaster risk management. To scale up successful local initiatives, an umbrella NGO, Plan International, Cambodia is engaged to carry out livelihood and nutrition activities and training.

 17.         Output 3: Improved Capacity to Mainstream Food Security. In the face of growing global climate change and rising food prices, the poor and food insecure households are expected to become more exposed to shocks and stresses, leading to depletion of their productive assets, increased indebtedness, and reduced investment in health and school. The Additional Financing scope is to mainstreams food security concept in the planning and implementation at the national and provincial levels by: (i) improving Food Security and Nutrition M&E system, and (ii) improving institutional coordination at the national and provincial levels supporting food security. Specifically, capacity building activities will focus on: (i) improving the data collection, analysis, management and dissemination of the FSN M&E system; (ii) promoting coordination among the key ministries and government institutions such as MAFF, MOWRAM, MRD, National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) and Council for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) to strengthen the linkages between four elements of food security and their respective ministerial mandates, strategies and investment plans and information management systems; and (iii) raising awareness of food security and nutrition issues at the local planning process to ensure that locations and design of interventions will take into account food security issues.   

 18.         Output 4: Project Implementation Strengthened. The additional Financing will provide project implementation support to the EA, IAs and 10 PPMUs to effectively and efficiently manage investment activities at the national and sub-national levels to implement on time and within budget.

19.         The additional financing project covers 10 provinces selected in the GAFSP proposal.  Geographically, target areas comprise of 3 agro-ecological zones: (i) Tonle Sap area (Banteay Meanchay, Kampong Thom, and Siem Reap); (ii) Plains (Kampong Cham, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, and Takeo); (iii) Plateau areas (Kampong Speu, Preah Vihear, and Oddar Meanchay).  All provinces were severely affected by the 2011 Floods.


20.         A total of 100 communes is identified, and reassessed, if any of the identified communes are receiving similar support from the Development Partners and/or NGOs.

21.         The Additional Financing continues to target households classified as poverty level 1 and 2 according to the Identification of Poor Household Program (ID Poor), a national targeting mechanism developed by the Ministry of Planning. ID Poor has been used as a targeting tool by the government and the donor funded projects including EFAP. ID poor and the additional criteria have been used to identify the target beneficiaries for subsidized quality seeds and fertilizer distribution and Cash for Work (CFW) (Appendix 3). Participatory and transparent approaches for beneficiary verification and targeting (a three-tier targeting process to involve community, government and engagement of an independent monitor) are still retained to ensure the effective targeting.  Beneficiary selection criteria for livelihood and nutrition activities is to developed by Plan International Cambodia based on the field needs assessment to be conducted by it.


CARD = Council for Agriculture and Rural Development;
CBO = Community Based Organization;
CC = Commune Councils;
CPMU = Central Project Management Unit;
EA = Executing Agency;
IA =Implementing Agency;
MAFF =Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries;
MOC = Ministry of Commerce;
MOWA = Ministry of Women Affairs;
MOWRAM = Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology;
MRD = Ministry of Rural Development;
NCDM =National Committee for Disaster Management;
NGO= Non-governmental Organization;
PCDM = Provincial Committee for Disaster Management;
PDA = Provincial Department of Agriculture;
PDRD = Provincial Department of Rural Development;
PDWA = Provincial Department of Women Affairs;
PDWRAM = Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology;
PPMU = Provincial Project Management Unit.

Executing Agency

Ministry of Economy and Finance H.E. Vong Sandap

Under Secretary of State
Telephone: +855-23-430-716

Email address: sandap@efap.org.kh

Office Address: #17, St. 95 Conner 75,
Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Project Officer
Nao Ikemoto

Senior Natural Resources Management  Specialist     

Email address: nikemoto@adb.org