In Cambodia, infrastructure development, land rights violations and exploitation by private companies have restricted access to land and natural resources for marginalised communities. Women, in particular, have minimal access to and control over land, and face challenges influencing local authorities and holding private organisations to account. These factors mean that women and other marginalised groups are ill-equipped to prepare for and respond when disasters strike. To increase access to and control over land for marginalised communities, ActionAid Australia supported a range of civil society groups to strengthen their collaboration, research skills and advocacy work. These civil society groups helped communities become more aware of their rights and entitlements, empowering hundreds of thousands of people across Cambodia to claim their rights and work to hold private companies accountable. ActionAid Australia also engaged with farmers to have greater influence on policies around agricultural land ownership.
Through the project, women were supported to lead in designing plans to reduce the risk of future disasters. In addition, local and national institutions were trained on the importance of women’s leadership in disaster preparedness and response so that they could then integrate this approach into their own disaster response work. All these activities helped to strengthen the resilience of Cambodian communities involved.