Background

After the 1993 Cambodian general election and the establishment of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Royal Government established the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD). The creation of the MRD demonstrates the Government’s dedication to improving living standards and alleviating the poverty of rural people.

MRD’s Mandate

The Royal Cambodian Government has given the Ministry of Rural Development complete responsibility within Cambodia for these following Rural Development initiatives and activities:

Coordinating, Cooperating, Implementing, Monitoring and Evaluating Rural Development Projects and Programs in order to rehabilitate and help develop the country’s Rural areas by assisting the Rural population.
Coordinating the operational efforts of the various Line Ministries and assistance programs.
Actively Undertaking Independent Research Initiatives to practically develop the Rural areas of Cambodia by liaising widely, in order to assess likely needs and investigate possible solutions that would maximize identified opportunities, etc.

Mission Statement

The MRD must, firstly, respond to the Urgent Short-term Needs of the Cambodian Rural population which may result from natural or man-made disasters, and then ensure that such suffering in the Rural areas is answered promptly, met effectively and alleviated quickly.
The MRD seeks to establish Long-term Sustainable Development in all Rural areas by encouraging self-sufficiency, so that the Rural community is able to make an increasing contribution to the National economy.
The MRD represents the Hopes and Aspirations yet to be achieved in Rural Cambodia through peace, and progress toward prosperity. These are the basic building blocks that can provide and guarantee the essential quality of life for all Rural people.

MRD’s Main Objectives

To improve the quality of life of the Rural people by encouraging and facilitating economic self-sufficiency and an active social awareness, rather than always relying on Central Government or aid agencies to help out. In fact, encouraging and achieving a more independent attitude to solving some of their own problems and getting personal satisfaction from making progress themselves.
To encourage and assist the Rural community to participate more directly in improving farm production, Rural based industries and the marketing of their products. This development would make a significant contribution by strengthening the National economy.
To seek, by all sensible means, to discourage the movement of individuals and families from the countryside to the towns. Urban congestion represents an increasingly serious problem in Cambodia. Improving the Rural economy as a matter of priority can, to some extent, help reverse the present trend by restoring confidence in Rural life, and encouraging community developments that raise Rural living standards.

MRD’s Core Activities

To be responsible for Integrating all Rural Development, at Family, Village and Commune levels throughout the Kingdom. (This includes all the direct and indirect MRD roles).
To raise the standard of living and the quality of life of the Rural people by alleviating poverty through Rural Infrastructure improvement such as Rural Roads, Rural Water Supply, etc., Primary Health Care promotion, Agricultural development, Rural Credit provision, Small Business/Industry promotion and provision of Rural Marketing Facilities.
To promote Human Resource Development for Rural communities, (and MRD staff), by organizing, publicizing and making possible local TRAINING PROGRAMS, SEMINARS and WORKSHOPS that relate to identified relevant and specific Rural training needs, so developing individual talents and skills that, collectively enhance community independence through employment opportunities.

MRD’s Strategy

Promote decentralization of planning, finance and implement Rural Development projects and programs.
Facilitate an Integrated Rural Development approach, which is participatory, area-based and multi-sectoral.
Provide forum at each administrative level for dialogue and joint action both among government departments and between the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and the civil society, and the balance between the vertical line ministries and the local authorities.
Define, utilize and mobilize the comparative advantages and appropriate capacities within the government, civil society, the private sector, international and local agencies and rural communities themselves for development purposes.

Policy

Two Key Policies have been put forward by MRD to speed up and guide the Nation’s Rural Development:

First: To ensure that all National and International agencies and organizations involved in Rural Development work more closely together; and
Second: To promote a more people-oriented and integrated approach to Rural Development.