AKP Phnom Penh, The French Development Agency (AFD) is celebrating this year its 80th anniversary with continued humanist spirit in the fight against global inequalities and environmental disruption.

AFD in Cambodia and the French Embassy in Cambodia are organising on Dec. 8 a cocktail party to mark the occasion and to inaugurate the exhibition “??????????? – Women’s Voices”, said the embassy’s press release.

According to the same source, AFD was founded by General de Gaulle on Dec. 2, 1941. The agency has been active in Cambodia since 1993, having been one of the first donors to support the country at the end of the civil war. Since then, AFD has committed almost 900M euros and has an average annual commitment of 100M euros over the last few years.

These decades of history and projects are also about the men and women who have succeeded one another in supporting and building sustainable projects together. For its 80th anniversary, AFD wishes look to the future, with its partners, and ask itself: what kind of world do we want to build by 2101?

One thing is certain: this future will not be built without women. This is why AFD wanted to honour them on the occasion of its 80th anniversary. The exhibition “??????????? – Women’s Voices”, which will be inaugurated on Dec. 8 in the gardens of the Residence of France, alongside the French Embassy in Cambodia, aims to convey the voices of inspiring Cambodian women involved in AFD-supported projects and highlight their stories, initiatives and challenges.

These portraits of women, taken through the lens of young photographer Sereyrath Mech and orchestrated by the association Minor Act, capture their determination to break down the barriers to their emancipation. Their testimonies show how they move the lines, on a daily basis, so that the Cambodia of tomorrow is also carried by women.

The exhibition will then be displayed in front of AFD’s offices at 5 rue 106 and will soon be on display at the French Institute of Cambodia.

H.E. Jacques Pellet, French Ambassador to Cambodia believes that the celebration of AFD’s 80th anniversary at the French Embassy is a great opportunity to defend and promote equality between women and men. Since 2018, with the International Strategy for Equality between Women and Men, France has engaged in feminist diplomacy. “This anniversary is also an excellent opportunity to present a French diplomacy based on sustainable development making it possible to protect the planet from the negative effects of climate change and to ensure the prospect of a resolutely better future for everyone,” underlined H.E. Ambassador.

France’s development policy falls within the framework set by the international community, in particular the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly, the Paris Agreement on climate and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development. It is also part of the new European Consensus for Development adopted in 2017. “This anniversary is also an excellent opportunity to present French diplomacy based on sustainable development making it possible to protect the planet from the negative effects of climate change and ensure the prospect of a resolutely better future for everyone,” said H.E. Jacques Pellet.

“I am delighted to be celebrating AFD’s 80th anniversary around such a fundamental issue for France and AFD: gender equality. I would like to warmly thank all the women who agreed to participate in this project. I would like to thank them for speaking out against inequalities and for proposing concrete solutions to improve things. I would also like to salute the work of Minor Act, which was able to give life to these portraits and sublimate these testimonies, through the vision of young Khmer artists who were mobilised for the project. We hope that these portraits, messages and initiatives will question and inspire,” said Ms. Ophélie Bourhis, AFD’s Director in Cambodia.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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