HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Access to land and resources» in Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. It is still marked by the negative consequences of the "Khmer Rouge" regime. Authoritarian rule and a weak democracy are hampering economic development. Agriculture provides a livelihood for some 80 per cent of the population and still has enormous potential for development. Through a broad-based country aid strategy, HEKS/EPER and its partner organizations are working to secure the livelihoods of Cambodian smallholder families and boost their autonomy. This involves several complementary projects to improve agricultural output and foster peaceful coexistence in society.
In 2020 HEKS/EPER helped deal with 90 conflicts over land and resources – some of them long-standing ones. Twenty-eight were resolved peacefully. This meant access to 2000 hectares of land for roughly 2500 people. HEKS/EPER also facilitated market access for small agricultural producers, enabling almost 350 families to increase their incomes.
Rural communities need unimpeded access to natural resources such as land, water, pastures, savannahs or forests if they are to develop. The possibility to use these resources is critical to fighting hunger and poverty. Agriculture is, after all, the most important source of income for many rural communities. With crop farming, small plantations, livestock rearing, fishing or gathering they can secure their food supply and generate income by selling their produce. Land also serves communities as living space and reinforces cultural and spiritual identity. Many rural communities still lack access to land or risk losing it despite existing or traditional law. HEKS/EPER therefore helps them, through numerous projects, to secure long-term access to land and resources, both practically and legally.
Cambodia Country Programme
Food security and autonomy
In Cambodia, HEKS/EPER supports rural community development projects being run by local partner organizations.