The COVID-19 Emergency Response project supported enhancing COVID-19 testing capacity at one national, two regional, and 12 provincial laboratories. Testing capacity has increased from 1,500 tests to 6,000 tests per day. The medical equipment from the project has been distributed to support the development and expansion of COVID-19 treatment at one national hospital, 4 national treatment centers, and all 25 provincial hospitals. Infection prevention and control, including medical waste management, was enhanced through the provision of environmentally friendly technology, equipment, and supplies, and the equipment has been provided for the establishment of the Emergency Operation Centers in all provincial health department offices.
The Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project (H-EQIP) is working to improve the equity and quality of health care services throughout Cambodia. It is the fourth in a series of World Bank-supported health projects that have helped to expand the health facility network, with medical and laboratory equipment and equity and financial protection for the poor. H-EQIP strengthened non-communicable disease services and government capacity, enhancing quality of care, infection prevention and control, and sanitation and water quality in health facilities. As of September 2020, almost 50,000 women have been screened for cervical cancer screening.
The Health Equity Fund (HEF) system, which part of H-EQIP, as of 2020, co-financed free access to almost 3.3 million cases, including 3 million outpatient visits, 259,000 hospital admissions, and 28,000 births per year for the poorest people in Cambodia, nationwide and across all public health facilities in the country. Payments for these services, as well as performance-based grants granted for improving quality of healthcare service delivery, are disbursed electronically and in a timely manner into health facilities’ bank accounts. This has changed the empowerment and accountability paradigm, where the additional resources facilitated facility-level decision-making. The HEF system has also ensured vital funding for maintaining equipment and infrastructure and for dealing with unexpected shortages of drugs and consumables.
The Cambodia Nutrition Project is to improve utilization and quality of priority maternal and child health and nutrition services for targeted groups in Cambodia. The project has two components to strengthen the delivery of priority health services and stimulate demand and accountability at the community level. In 2019, there were 38, 885 children under 12 months of age in target areas receiving DPT-HelB-Hib 3.
The World Bank is currently engaged in two education sector projects in Cambodia. The Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) aims to improve secondary education quality by strengthening school-based management; upgrading the qualification of lower secondary school teachers, school leaders, and educational staff. The project aims to improve school facilities through the construction and rehabilitation of 100 existing schools, the construction of 30 new schools, and equipping laboratory facilities at 100 targeted schools. Over the past three and a half years, the project has benefitted 25,865 students, teachers, and educational staff at national and sub-national levels.
The ongoing Higher Education Improvement Project (HEIP) works to improve the quality of teaching and learning in five public higher education institutions by improving the curriculum, teaching methods, staff qualifications, learning facilities, and promoting the linkages with industry to ensure consistency with the job market. The project also provides grants to promote the development and implementation of research projects in STEM and agriculture. The project has invested $5 million in e-learning so that nearly 3 million pre-school, primary, and secondary school pupils can learn from home while schools are closed. The support mainly helped the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports develop teaching videos to be broadcast on its social media channels and TV, develop student worksheets for the students to work with their textbooks, and provide school grants to all the primary and secondary schools to print and copy the student worksheets for poor students.
The Implementation of Social Accountability Framework (ISAF) phase II (2019-2023) aims to achieve the full coverage in 203 District/Municipality/Khan (DMK) of 25 capital/provinces, 1,646 communes/sangkats, 7,189 primary schools, and 1,197 health centers. The ISAFII commits to expand to other services including DMK administrative, water supply and sanitation, and some services when more functions transferred to Sub-National Admirations (SNAs).
The World Bank and other development partners are supporting World Vision- demand-side on engaging citizens to improve service delivery through social accountability and National Committee for Democratic Development Secretariat (NCDDS)- supply-side on integrating of social accountability into national and subnational system to improve local service delivery through enhanced accountability of local government, particularly the D/M, commune/sangkat councils, health centers, and primary schools. To date, ISAF covers 24 capital/provinces, 170 districts and 1,398 commune/sangkat across the country. ISAF covers 1,095 health centers and 6,190 primary schools. ISAF also recruits thousands of Community Accountability Facilitators to help mobilize their communities to receive information on national standard of services, monitor quality of services available locally, agree on a Joint Accountability Action Plan (JAAP), prioritize a short list of actions to address the issues identified, and monitor the implementation of JAAP. The ISAF mobile app are established and available for both Android and IOS operation system in smart phones to better enhance citizen engagement, particularly during COVID-19 pandemic.
Within another concrete intervention, the Livelihood Enhancement and Association of the Poor 2017-2022 (LEAP) is being implemented to improve livelihoods for rural and urban poor and vulnerable households in 47 communes/sangkats of 9 districts at Siem Reap province and 13 sangkats of 11 khan in Phnom Penh capital. The LEAP’s objective is to improve access of poor and vulnerable households in selected communities to financial services, opportunities for generating income, develop small scale infrastructure and to provide immediate and effective response in case of an eligible crisis or emergency. The focus is on (a) creating and strengthening self-managed community institutions of poor (b) providing them with access to finance (c) linking them to markets and key value chains and value addition and higher price (d) enhancing skills and employment opportunities of rural and urban poor, and (e) improving basic services and community infrastructure of rural and urban poor. Approximately, 20,000 ID poor and vulnerable households in the target communes/sangkats have received benefits from the project interventions, of whom 51percent are female beneficiaries. Till date, total of 778 self-help groups and 146 producer groups have been established, approximately nearly 90 percent are females for enhancing their access to finance, inter-lending, agriculture skills, market linkages and value addition. Total of 586 students enrolled for skill training, 308 students at Siem Reap and 278 students at Phnom Penh. Among 212 graduated students, 153 are employed. The scale of the skills development activities will be adjusted downwards, and the relevance of specific skills training need to be revalidated to adapt the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. In combination of the interventions, the LEAP has so far provided community economic infrastructures. Total of 68 infrastructures, 39 in Siem Reap and 29 in Phnom Penh have been improved, for example, community roads, bridges, ponds, canals, market shelters, solar LED power street lighting, and pipe drainage system.
In the water supply and sanitation sector, the Bank-financed Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project has supported investment in water supply in lagging areas in five provinces and in improving wastewater collection and management in Siem Reap city. During the early stage of implementation, about 200 connections have been completed in the remove province Mondulkiri.
In the water resources management sector, the World Bank-supported Mekong Integrated Water Resource Management Project has supported the government in establishing the key foundation for effective water resources and fishery management. Through Fishery Administration, the project established 70 community fisheries with long-term community fishery management plans in the Northeast of Cambodia. All the supported community fisheries were equipped with 100 engine boats and related equipment to enable them to carry out patrols in fishery conservation zones. With approximately 50 river guard offices and more than 60 demarcations constructed, the Communities Fisheries have completed facilities and resources to prevent illegal fishing. As a result, the community fisheries have been successful in reducing illegal fishing in their area up to 90 percent compared to the illegal prior to project implementation. In addition, the project provided livelihood grants to more than 500 poor families to help them improve livelihoods activities and increase income sources. Apart from livelihood enhancement activities, the first fish hatchery center is being constructed at the border of Cambodia and Lao PDR. The hatchery center aims to produce and sell fish fingerlings to communities to increase their aquaculture activities. The facility is also used as a regional fishery research center. The project also established hydrological and meteorological monitoring stations, developed water resource modeling and river basin profiles, and constructed water resources monitoring facilities. Sixty-eight government staff have been trained to use the decision support system tools for planning purposes to inform future water resources investment interventions.
Over the past 20 years, the World Bank has helped modernize the transport sector in Cambodia. Between 1999 and 2014, the World Bank financed three road projects including the Road Rehabilitation Project (1999-2006), the Provincial and Rural Infrastructure Project (2003-2011), and the Road Asset Management Project (2008-2014), which helped improve and rehabilitate critical road infrastructure across the country.
More recently, the ongoing Road Asset Management Project II (RAMPII) has been supporting the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) to improve the condition, safety, and climate resilience of over 420 kilometers (km) of the core national road network – including sections of NR3, NR4, and NR7 – and to introduce a road management system for the core national road network. Performance-based contracting for road construction and maintenance is expanding to promote private sector participation in road maintenance and to optimize maintenance service quality.
The recently approved Road Connectivity Improvement Project will support the MPWT and the Ministry of Rural Development to improve climate resilient road access to key economic and human development facilities including markets, schools and hospitals and benefit over 2 million people in the project area. The technical assistance grants in the transport sector provide analytical and advisory support to government counterparts on private sector participation in the road sector, climate resilience rural road accessibility, road safety and green mobility solutions.
In agriculture and infrastructure support, the Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development Project (LASED II) has helped to improve access to agricultural resources, and infrastructure and social services for many citizens in rural communities. Through the project, the government has allocated 17,000 hectares of residential and agriculture farmland to 5,091 landless and land-poor families. So far, 3,362 families received land titles. Beneficiaries have received basic shelter materials and other in-kind assistance, such as six-month food aid, to help with settling-in. The project has completed 345km of roads in its target sites. It also built eight school buildings, 14 teacher houses, five health posts, and eight community centers, which are accessible both to project beneficiaries and to the wider community. The project also provides improved agriculture extension services, enabling beneficiaries to make the best use of the land and engage in agriculture activities and foster more sustainable community development. Access to land for the poor or landless families has been – and continues to be – an important aspect of poverty reduction in Cambodia’s rural areas. The Cambodia Agriculture Sector Diversification Project is to facilitate the development of diversified agriculture value chains in selected geographical areas in Cambodia. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the project has financed $10 million activities to address food security for vulnerable populations.
The Cambodia Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Management Project aims to improve climate resilient rural road connectivity in select provinces. The project will provide all-season rural roads to 340,000 residents who live within 2 km of the project roads, of which 51 percent are women. In addition, the project will benefit most of the 3.5 million people living in the six targeted provinces as well as other passengers traversing these provinces. The target population will benefit from improved access to schools, health facilities, and economic opportunities through climate-resilient roads. The project will strengthen the financial strategies and instruments developed to improve its resilience to climate and disaster risks.
The Cambodia Sustainable Landscape and Ecotourism Project is to improve protected areas (PAs) management, and to promote ecotourism opportunities and non-timber forest product (NTFP) value chains in the Cardamom Mountains-Tonle Sap landscape. Good progress has been made on Protected Areas (PA) zoning activities, on the development of a PA law enforcement action plan, and on ecotourism with plans for engaging private ecotourism operators and companies. There have been 128,000 visitors visited the selected community-based ecotourism sites as of August 2020.
Building on the Bank’s active engagement and support in public financial management (PFM) and public sector strengthening in Cambodia since 2006 beginning with two successive projects and various technical assistance programs and the Public Financial Management Modernization Project (PFMMP) (completed in 2017), currently, the Bank continues to provide support for improving PFM and service delivery through a programmatic technical assistance program funded by Multi-Donor Trust Fund with contributions from the European Union and Australia under the Cambodia Strengthening PFM and Public Sector Performance for Improved Service Delivery Programmatic Advisory Services and Analytics Project (P168407) 2019-2022. The technical assistance program aims to ease institutional bottlenecks in service delivery by focusing not only PFM but also broader public sector reform programs of the government. It covers four thematic areas: strengthening budgeting, planning and expenditure management; performance systems for enhanced service delivery; supporting innovation, monitoring, and coordination; and just-in-time support.
Last Updated: Apr 14, 2021