The United Nations (UN) compiles the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Gap Report. The 2010 version of the report will emphasise the ‘needs gap’, which measures the gap between actual delivery on global commitments and ‘estimated needs for support’ by developing countries. This is an important gap, because it provides an estimate relating to whether the partnership envisaged under MDG 8 is effectively helping to address the needs of developing countries.
One way to analyse the needs gap and the way MDG 8 commitments could help is through in-depth case studies of individual countries to review where the gaps are and discuss recent trends with respect to development finance. The country studies (Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia and Uganda) will focus on the needs gap in official development assistance (ODA), trade and debt relief. They will analyse whether the commitments and delivery in these three essential and interrelated areas are meeting the actual needs of these countries over 2000 until 2009, and will make a special effort to include information regarding the impact of the economic crisis on these three areas.
This paper discusses these issues in the case of Cambodia. It first reviews Cambodia’s policy towards the MDGs, and how they are integrated into the country’s strategic and development goals; it then reviews actual progress (Section 2). It will then provide evidence on how indicators in the areas of aid, trade and debt have been met and have evolved (Section 3). This provides the background for the subsequent discussion on how MDG 8 has addressed or is addressing the MDG needs gaps (Section 4). Section 5 concludes.
Cambodia has achieved remarkable progress in recent years; this includes almost double-digit growth over the last decade. Several of the MDGs are on track to be met. However, the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) was, in 2009, severe for Cambodia – growth was reduced from 6.8% in 2009 to -2.6% in 2010 according to most recent estimates. The current crisis therefore poses a serious challenge for the achievement of some of the MDGs, notably MDG1, and reinforces the relevance of MDG 8 commitments.