WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14, 2017— The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved $100 million in financing for two Cambodia projects, which will help improve the quality of secondary schools and make rural roads better connected and resilient to severe weather impacts.
“We welcome World Bank support in the education and transport sectors, which is well aligned with the priorities of our National Strategic Development Plan for 2014-2018,” said H.E. Vongsey Vissoth, Acting Minister, Ministry of Economy and Finance. “These projects will indeed help strengthen the government’s efforts in improving the quality of education and transport connectivity, especially in expanding access by rural areas to services and market.”
The Secondary Education Improvement Project, a five-year project for lower-secondary schools covering grades seven to nine nationwide, will be funded by $40 million from the International Development Association, the Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. The project aims to strengthen school management and improve the qualifications of teachers, especially in mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, Khmer, and history.
The project also seeks to upgrade the qualifications of school directors and improve school facilities by improving 100 schools and building 30 new ones. It is expected to benefit more than 16,000 students, 2,200 teachers, 310 school directors and deputy directors, and 1,500 school staff members, as well as education department on the provincial and district levels.
In the last two decades, Cambodia has greatly expanded education access to primary and lower secondary education. This project will help Cambodia go even further by improving the quality of lower secondary education,” said Inguna Dobraja, the World Bank’s Country Manager for Cambodia.
The second project, the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Management Project, will improve connectivity of rural communities, which are marginalized from mainstream development because their access roads are in poor conditions. This project will rehabilitate about 250 kilometers of rural roads in six provinces along the Mekong and Tonle Sap and will benefit about 3.5 million residents in Stung Treng, Kratie, Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Siem Reap, Kandal —as well as passengers passing through. It will upgrade roads to withstand flooding, reducing the high recurrent reconstruction costs. Road asset management systems and strategies will be enhanced to support Cambodia in the climate resilient planning, implementation, and monitoring of rural roads.
“Improving rural roads is central to poverty reduction in Cambodia, since 79 percent of the population and 91 percent of the poor live in rural areas,” said Dobraja. “Better and weather resilient roads will help students go to school, families visit health centers, and farmers from across Cambodia bring their products to markets."
The project is co-funded with a grant of US$1 million from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, which will help the Ministry of Economics and Finance to develop disaster risk financing instruments and mainstream resilience into public investment planning.
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