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Title: Empowerment of Civil Society Advocating for the Rights of the Urban Poor in Siem Reap

Period: May 1. 2014 – April 30. 2016

Grant: 2.239.000 DKK

Donor: EuropeAid

Collaborators: Legal Aid of Cambodia (LAC), Phnom Penh.

Background and target groups:
Poverty in Cambodia is considerable in rural areas as well as urban areas, but there are big differences between the regions. Siem Reap Province is one of the three poorest in the country. The families in the area are confronted by problems such as food shortage, no cultivatable land, poor health, limited loan possibilities for new investments, lacking education, lack og influence on decision makers and lack of access to markets and marketing services.Another considerable problem is the rights to land. In order to improve living conditions for the poorest, there is focus in this project on creating income, food production, micro business, nutrition as well as exerting influence in the civil society, especially with regard to land rights.

The primary target is 2,000 poor families, and the aim is that at least 1,000 households will have claim rights to land as well as living conditions are improved.

The objective and working methods:
The main objective for the project is to promote the civil society organisations in the poor rural and urban areas in Siem Reap with regard to food security and negotiations with regard to land rights. This means that the poor will be better organised and represented in the local decision processes as a resut of learnt proficiency, they will get access to information and guidance, they will be better trained as borrowing/savings groups, they will have better local coordination and will be better at negotiating. Local self-help groups will be trained in saving/borrowing and this will lead increased financial capacity for each individual and for the group as a whole. The target group will have the capacity to negotiate with the local authorities and to ensure their own land rights.

The action focusses on the follong specific aims:
1) Mobilise and strengthen civil society orgai´nisations who represent the poor in the towns to improve living conditions, increase land security and land ownership

2) To argue for the poor in urban areas to get land certification and/or proper compensation in cases of expropriation

3) To improve living conditions in the new settlements