Nurture - Nurturing climate resilience in Cambodia

Switzerland and the Swiss NGOs HEKS and Caritas, in cooperation with the Ministries of Agriculture and of Water, support smallholder farmers and their communities with Swiss expertise on sustainable water resource management, increased social accountability for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management and diversified incomes using agro-ecological production. Some 70,500 men and women in four provinces highly vulnerable to climate change and disasters will benefit.  

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Climate change and environment
Agricultural water resources
Agricultural services & market
Disaster risk reduction DRR
01.02.2022 - 31.12.2026
CHF  4’200’000

60% of the 16.5 million Cambodian population live in rural areas. 22.8% of them live below the national poverty line (urban 12.6%) and mostly rely on climate sensitive sectors. Floods, droughts and storms, are increasing and provide frequent high disaster risks to the nation, raising the likelihood of crop yield loss or complete crop failure and, as a result, lowering income and food security. For instance, a drought in 2016 affected 2.5 million people in 18 out of 25 provinces. In 2021, flash floods and floods affected over 20,000 households in the four Nurture provinces. Women and children are among the most affected. In the four Nurture target provinces 82% of all communes are ranked as highly and quite vulnerable to climate change.

Commune Development and Investment Plans have proven ineffective as planning and budgetary instruments for community-based management of risks, especially climate-related risks, due to a lack of capacities, resources, and effective coordination at sub-watershed level. With the government’s efforts for decentralization, these plans will however form the basis to channel funds to communes.

Objectives Vulnerable smallholder farming households and their communities are more resilient to climate change and have increased incomes through climate proofing of agro-ecosystems.
Target groups 15,000 households (70,500 men, women, smallholder farmers and Leave no One Behind people, and especially women involved in agriculture and farming activities, living in 36 communes of 12 districts in four provinces.
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1:    Vulnerable smallholder farmers have increased yields and reduced climate risks through better and more stable access to water for irrigation.

Outcome 2:    Vulnerable smallholder farmers and their communities benefit from improved social accountability, planning and policies related to climate change adaptation.

Outcome 3:    Vulnerable smallholder farmers adopt agro-ecological practices and diversify their sources of income.


Expected results:  

Output 1:    Systems and services for sustainable and equitable water governance are introduced and implemented.

Output 2:    Increased opportunities for the engagement of sub-national authorities, communities and the private sector in climatechange adaptation planning and decision-making processes.

Output 3:    Public and private sector actors provide relevant knowledge, technologies, and services on agro-ecology to vulnerable smallholders. 

Output 4:    Inclusive market channels are established, diversified and strengthened for vulnerable smallholders and market system actors.

Results from previous phases:  

Key documents/studies developed during the inception phase include: 

-    4-year Nurture ProDoc 1 Dec 2022 – 31 Dec 2026;

-    Climate Resilient Assessment;

-    Light CEDRIG assessment in Water; 

-    Light cost benefit analysis (CBA)

-    Integrity and Innovations in Natural Resource Management;

-    Gender and social inclusion assessment;

-    Governance Analysis in the context of Irrigation;

-    Project Baseline data survey is being finalised.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Swiss Interchurch Aid

Other partners

Caritas Swiss (subcontractor)


Coordination with other projects and actors

Ongoing SDC projects:

-    Improve Service Delivery (ISD); Implementation of Social Accountability Framework (ISAF); Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Intensification Consortium (CASIC); 

-    With loan projects of: International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

-    It builds on previous SDC projects: Cambodian Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition (CHAIN); Remote sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging economies (RIICE), Early Warning System- EWS1294 

-    Private companies involved in marketing climate resilient and water management solutions. 

-    Technical and Research Institutes for generating scientific knowledge on climate resilient agriculture CSOs engaged in building awareness about climate change and associated risks.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’200’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’108’500
Project phases Phase 1 01.02.2022 - 31.12.2026   (Current phase)