Provincial-DAC Meetings on the Development of 2021 and 2022 Annual Action Plans in line with the National Disability Strategic Plan (2019-2023)

Provincial-DAC Meetings on the Development of 2021 and 2022 Annual Action Plans in line with the National Disability Strategic Plan (2019-2023)

A series of Provincial Disability Action Council (P-DAC) meetings on the development of 2021 and 2022 Action Plans, in line with the National Disability Strategic Plan 2019-2023 (NSDP2), were conducted in the four provinces of Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Tboung Khmum, and Battambang in March. These meetings were organised by P-DAC and DAC Secretary-General (DAC-SG) in coordination with the UNDP through the support of the Australian Government through the DFAT-funded Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program.

The objectives of the meetings were to develop and approve action plans for the second half of 2021 and for 2022 to be included in the 2022 budget proposals to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and to share lessons learnt on the Budget Strategy Plan (BSP) and Program Budget (PB) of the Provincial Administration to support the disability sector.

Participants in these meetings included representatives from DAC-SG, P-DAC including the Provincial Department of Social, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation (PoSVY) and other members from relevant provincial departments, UNDP, DFAT, and ACCESS.

His Excellency Neth Un, Deputy Secretary-General of DAC said in his opening remarks during the meeting with the Battambang P-DAC, that this meeting was beneficial to discuss the challenges in the disability sector and how the interventions can be included in the BSP and PB. His Excellency also appreciated the support from the ACCESS Program and Implementing Partners and provided, “We will work together for persons with disabilities.”

Furthermore, the meeting reiterated the key roles and responsibilities of P-DAC, the differences between the budget processes of sub-national administrations and provincial line departments, and the prioritization of key interventions to support persons with disabilities.

The fundamentals of BSP and PB for the disability sector was presented by a representative from the General Directorate of Sub-national Administration Finance of MEF. The discussion aimed to advocate more budget commitment from the provincial administrations to support the functioning of the P-DAC mechanism in addition to the commitments from the provincial line departments. As a result, a priority action plan of P-DAC for 2022 was raised and approved by the Chairpersons of P-DAC for inclusion in their 2022 budget proposals.

In the meeting, participants had the opportunity to raise their concerns and suggestions, especially in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding this, the Chairpersons of the P-DAC strongly support the provision of materials such as COVID-19 protective materials and food supplies to persons with disabilities, as well as support them to access the vaccinations when available.

Furthermore, Mrs. Sieng Sokchan, Head of Women with Disabilities Forum (WWDF) in Battambang, suggested making ramps available in communes to ensure physical accessibility for persons with disabilities.

At the end of the meeting, the Chairpersons of the P-DAC raised their commitment to coordinate the implementation of priority action plans responding to the needs of persons with disabilities. The P-DACs also called for support from NGOs and development partners, including from the ACCESS Program to provide COVID-19 protective materials to persons with disabilities.

As part of the Australian Government’s efforts to promote disability inclusion in Cambodia, it has been providing support to the Royal Government of Cambodia, through the DFAT-funded ACCESS Program.