The European Union (EU) has signed two grants worth $2.1 million to promote political participation and access to information across Cambodia.
The Ambassador of the EU to Cambodia on Wednesday signed two contracts with Independent Media Support (IMS) and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), in support of their projects in Cambodia to promote pluralism, freedom of expression and democratic participation.
IMS is a non-profit organisation from Denmark working to support journalists and media around the world. IMS has several programs in Asia and in this project it will work in partnership with Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and Cambodia Center for Independent Media (CCIM).
The project funded with one million Euros ($1.05 million) by the European Union, “Sustaining Independent Media and Fundamental Freedoms in Cambodia”, will contribute to strengthen freedom of expression, by improving the skills of independent media and providing innovative approaches to access and dissemination of relevant and reliable information for Cambodian audiences.
NPA is an independent organisation working in Norway and in more than 30 countries. NPA aims to improve people's living conditions and to contribute to democratic, just and safe societies around the world. In Cambodia, NPA will work in partnership with COMFREL (Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia) and Youth Resource Development Program, YRDP.
Its project, “Promoting political participation of youth and women for a democratic and free and fair elections”, funded also with one million Euros ($1.05 million) by the EU, will promote awareness of voters on the electoral related laws and regulations and will support the monitoring of the 2023 elections, by active and informed citizens.
At the signing ceremony, Ambassador of the European Union to Cambodia, Carmen Moreno, said: “Access to information, freedom of expression and participation in electoral processes are all crucial aspects in a democratic society.
"In 2023, the year we will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Cambodian citizens will vote in the national election to choose their representatives at the National Assembly. We hope that these projects will contribute to increase awareness among voters on the important role that rights and freedoms play in a free and fair electoral process”.
Founded on a strong commitment to promote and protect human rights and democracy, the EU is the world’s largest donor to projects. The Instrument on Human Rights and Democracy dedicates 1.5 billion Euros, or $1.57 billion, (2021-2027) to support civil society around the world, to promote rights and freedoms, democracy and the rule of law.