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PHNOM PENH -- Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of Cambodia’s economy. A majority of these enterprises have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic causing them to close their business or cut down jobs and production capacity, resulting in loss of income and livelihood.
The Agro-Food and Tourism Enterprise Recovery (AFTER) project is supporting the recovery of micro, small and medium enterprises in agro-food and tourism sectors from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project has three main outputs:
Under output 1, the project successfully supported the enterprises in addressing a number of challenges through various types of technical assistances, provision of facility or equipment upgrade, and financial assistance. For example, the project has provided trainings on digital marketing, quality and standards, hygiene and safety compliance, and coaching on new product development, financial management, and internal quality control systems and other support services to 60 enterprises. Further, the project provides direct support such as facility and equipment upgrade, and direct cash assistance. On top of this, the project supported 156 foods and catering businesses in upgrading their skills on hospitality, hygiene and safety, and food and beverage. The skills would help to ensure the businesses are able to operate effectively to attract new customers that could be a boon to their recovery after COVID-19.
For output 2, the AFTER project implemented an awareness-raising campaign to promote safety and hygiene practices among supported enterprises, and increase consumer confidence in local MSMEs’ products and services. The campaign kicked off on 4 July with a social media campaign where 12 promotional videos about products and services being offered by supported enterprises, and 6 informational and educational videos about safety and hygiene were posted and viewed by close to half a million times by local audience. Further, the campaign produced and distributed communication materials promoting safety and hygiene standards, and carried out small group activity with owners, operators and workers of selected enterprises to deliver messages about safety and hygiene in an edu-tainment manner.
In total, 155 banners, 550 posters, 2750 stickers, and 600 flyers have been distributed, and 32 small group activities have been carried out with supported enterprises in Phnom Penh and the three target provinces. The project has also supported in increasing capacity of 24 agro-food enterprises in quality and standards, and 165 businesses in complying with standard operating procedures in food and catering businesses, and 56 businesses in obtaining SOP label for reopening of their businesses.
For output 3, the project supports integration of recovery plans and elements into relevant policies of agro-food and tourism sectors. Moreover, the AFTER project successfully supported 165 government officials of agro-food and tourism sectors especially in Kampong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang in capacity building activities for implementing the recovery plans during and in post-Covid-19 context.
The AFTER project is funded by Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in partnership with the Government of Cambodia. The main government counterparts include Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Other stakeholders include private sectors and associations representing private sectors or businesses of the agro-food and tourism value chains.
The project’s target areas include Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, and Battambang province. The project has a total budget of USD1,000,000, with the grand total of USD 1,475,000 including counterpart’s inputs. The project started in December 2020 and ends in July 2022.
About UNIDO and the AFTER project
The AFTER project is an initiation of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
For more information about the AFTER project and UNIDO Cambodia, please visit: https://open.unido.org/projects/KH/projects/
Agro-Food and Tourism Enterprise Recovery Program
Mr. Rafik FEKI