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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

In 2011, France ranked 10th among the country’s bilateral donors and 2nd among the European partners, with net bilateral ODA of €18 million. The French Development Agency (AFD) operates in Cambodia, and has provided aid amounting to a total of over €140 million in commitments since 1993. AFD committed funding of €11million in 2011 and over €87 million in 2012.

French cooperation is actively engaged in many sectors:

University cooperation and research: France provides support to Cambodia’s public universities, aimed primarily at improving the quality of teaching, increasing the professional component of courses and promoting the development of research in a context of regional harmonisation driven by ASEAN.

French language teaching: France is actively engaged at every level, from primary school to higher education, through bilingual classes and higher education courses taught in French, support for teacher training and a range of language courses available from the Institut Français in Cambodia (IFC).

Culture: established in Cambodia since 1990, the Institut Français initially devoted its efforts to preserving the traditional forms of Khmer artistic expression but has gradually shifted its focus towards opening up Cambodia’s arts scene to the major currents of contemporary creation. The IFC is equipped with a media library and provides French lessons for some 5,000 students.

Economic development and vocational training: AFD provides support for economic development in Cambodia via the three pillars of the country’s economy: agriculture, textiles and tourism. AFD also plays a part in developing a fabric of VSEs and SMEs, mainly in rural areas, by providing financial support for the country’s main micro-finance and banking institutions.

Governance and social cohesion

France makes its support available to Cambodia’s institutions (strengthening the rule of law) and to civil society (NGOs, private sector, local and regional authorities, professional associations). Since 2009, AFD has also been providing funding to French non-profit organisations working in the fields of health, agriculture and access to safe drinking water. Finally, France also supports the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (officially known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia), with contributions totalling over €7.6 million for the 2006-2012 period.

Urban development and heritage: since 1993, urban development has been one of the main areas of AFD involvement (production and distribution of safe drinking water in Phnom Penh, drainage and roadways in Siem Reap, renovation of the central market in Phnom Penh and development of street lighting in Phnom Penh).

France also plays an important role in preserving the historic legacy of Angkor, jointly chairing the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the historic site of Angkor; since 1995, over €6 million has been devoted to the restoration of the Baphuon temple and a Priority Solidarity Fund (FSP) project with a budget of €1.3 million has been set up to restore West Mebon and provide training in heritage skills. The French School of Asian Studies (EFEO) plays a leading role in the implementation of these projects.

Health: since 1992, French initiatives in the field of health have centred on three key areas: improving the quality of healthcare available, teaching (at the University of Health Sciences) and research (Institut Pasteur, ANRS). Since 2003, France has played a much-appreciated role as the 2nd largest global contributor under the auspices of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Framework partnership document between France and Cambodia (2006-2010)


Drawing on the expertise of the Commission consultative des recherches archéologiques à l’étranger (Consultative Commission on Archaeological Research Abroad), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGCID) is subsidizing nearly 160 archaeological missions (from palaeontology to the medieval period) in 65 countries. Among others:

- Angkor: Research on the first phases of development in the Angkor region

Last update: 01.01.13



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