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CRS in Cambodia

CRS collaborates with national and subnational Cambodian government actors, the private sector, and local NGOs to address challenges facing Cambodia. CRS focusses especially on areas where it can provide a value add through its programming and operations technical expertise, currently in the sectors of health and education, addressing malaria, tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS, and overall health systems strengthening, as well as inclusive and early childhood education. CRS supports government actors to strengthen systems and provide strong and inclusive public services to local communities, particularly the marginalized and vulnerable, and learns with government and partners to promote sustainable development.

CRS and partners have achieved nationwide reach. In the 2019 fiscal year alone, CRS directly benefited 402,877 people and indirectly supported 5,651,084 people living in Cambodia.

The CRS Cambodia office is located in Phnom Penh. In addition to supporting country-level programming, CRS Cambodia serves as the hub office for Southeast Asia programming, including Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.




The Cambodian health system relies heavily on community health volunteers to deliver services to its people. Strengthening the overall health system, from the national to the community level is at the heart of CRS’ health initiatives. Building the capacity of health facility staff, strengthening health service quality, and engaging community health volunteers are central to CRS’ strategy to fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS, and TB at the grassroots level in Cambodia. With funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, CRS has achieved nationwide reach in the following health sectors:


Joining the government’s efforts to eliminate malaria in Cambodia by 2025, CRS provides support in case management and vector control to a network of Village Malaria Workers and Mobile Malaria Workers, who play a crucial role in the distribution of insecticidetreated bed nets, health education, and first-line testing and treatment. The health staff at Provincial Health Departments and Operational Districts have also received CRS’ technical and management training that equips them to make evidence-based decisions and optimally allocate resources for malaria elimination. At the community level, CRS organizes awareness raising activities to promote good health-seeking behaviors. In the most recent project cycle (2018-2020), 314,497 suspected malaria cases received parasitological tests and 99% of malaria patients received treatment through CRS efforts.


Cambodia is one of 30 countries globally with a high burden of TB. In 2019, 302 people per 100,000 were estimated to have the disease, which is a bacterial infection that affects the lungs and is easily spread. CRS works with the National TB Control Center Program and local agencies to build health staff capacity, community health volunteer and support active case finding via referrals and testing, community-observed direct treatment, and village-based health education. With CRS’ support, 43,824 TB suspects were tested and 10,11111,658 TB patients received treatment in the past three years. The treatment success rate was 95%, 5% higher than the global target set by WHO.


CRS promotes a holistic approach for care, treatment, and support for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV). In partnership with government health agencies and local NGOs, CRS provides PLHIV with case detection, counseling, and enrollment in anti-retroviral treatment, contributes to daily activities of anti-retroviral services, and supports PLHIV’s transportation costs to receive treatment. In December 2020, CRS was directly supporting 62,722 active PLHIV. In the most recent quarter, 100% of HIV re-active clients got HIV confirmatory tests, and 97% of confirmed HIV positive clients are enrolled at anti-retroviral treatment sites.


CRS launched its Global Fund for Resilient Sustainable Systems for Health Project since 2018 to enhance community responses and systems through strengthening institutional capacity building, planning and leadership development and support capacity building for health workers including those at the community level in nine target provinces. CRS had supported health center management committees (HCMC) and village health support groups (VHSG) in partnership with Cambodia’s National Center for Health Promotion. As a result of CRS’ coordination and coaching, =100% of the health centers management committee are fully functioning, community health workers are continuously streamlined to achieve more efficient health care service delivery, and the local governments are increasingly allocating funds to community health for sustainable structural change. CRS will continue working closely with health centers and communes to develop detailed implementation plan (DIP) and jointly plan, support, and monitor more health centers to participate in the commune investment planning processes and advocate to HCMCs and commune councils to allocate budget for HCMC meetings and other community health priorities.


CRS advocates for the educational needs of children with disabilities. CRS provides disability awareness training for teachers and administrators; screens children in need of medical and social support; and mobilizes communities to bring children with  disabilities to school. CRS is pioneering early childhood interventions, including locally made toys and games, to engage families and to link children to services even earlier. To date, CRS has screened 19,212 children for inclusive education and directly supported 726 children with disabilities. Some children’s learning at school has significantly improved because a disability was identified through early screening.


In partnership with government agencies and local health NGOs, CRS also promotes education programs for primary aged students and educators addressing clean water and sanitation, dental health, healthy snacking, personal hygiene and disability screening, which has averted many children’s long-term health risks.



People served: 6,053,961

Population: 16,204,486

Size: 69,900 sq mi; about the size of Missouri

CRS' History in Cambodia

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) was founded in 1943 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to assist the poor and disadvantaged. From 1973 to 1975, CRS provided greatly needed assistance in health and nutrition to Cambodians struggling through a war. In 1991, CRS reopened offices in Cambodia, as the signing of the Paris Peace Accords brought stability back to the country. Since then, CRS has been a key actor working with government agencies and civil society to address the health, agriculture and livelihoods, and education needs of the Cambodian people.