PHNOM PENH, June 9, 2016 — The government of Cambodia and the World Bank today signed agreements for four projects to improve road surfaces, manage fisheries, improve livelihoods from agriculture in targeted rural communities, and increase access to health care, with funding from the International Development Association, or IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest.
The four projects are supported by US$130 million in new financing, approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on May 19, 2016. The projects focus on reducing poverty and improving the lives of poor and vulnerable Cambodians, as part of the program of engagement set out in the new Cambodia-World Bank Group Country Engagement Note (CEN).
Health Equity and Quality Improvement: The $30 million World Bank funding will build upon two innovative Cambodian health financing mechanisms. First, the Health Equity Funds help cover the costs of health services for the nation’s three million poor people, reducing their out-of-pocket costs and providing reliable financing for health facilities. Second, redesigned Service Delivery Grants will improve the quality of health services, including health-facility management, staff attendance and the coverage of health services.
The project will be jointly financed by the government, the World Bank, and a $50 million multi-donor trust fund with contributions from the Australian government, the German Development Bank and the Korea International Cooperation Agency. Japan’s Policy and Human Resources Development trust fund with the World Bank will also provide an additional $1 million to strengthen monitoring and evaluation.
Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management: The $15 million project aims to improve the management of fisheries and water resources, and help reduce rural poverty in the Mekong River Basin in northeast Cambodia.
Road Asset Management II: The $60 million project aims to improve 218 kilometers of roads to make them resilient to seasonal flooding, shortening travel times and providing better connectivity along national road corridors in Kampot, Preah Sihanouk, Tbong Khmom, and Kratie provinces.
Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development Project II: The $25 million project will provide agriculture extension services to previously landless and land-poor families in 14 communities across five provinces. More than 5,000 families from these communities will receive agricultural livelihood support and benefit from better roads, schools and health clinics.
“Today’s signing ceremony demonstrates an excellent partnership between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the World Bank. I would like to take this opportunity to express, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, our appreciation to the World Bank Group Board for their support of the Country Engagement Note and the approval of the four projects,” said H.E. Dr. Aun Pornmoniroth, Senior Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance. “I am also very pleased with the acknowledgement by a number of the Constituency Offices of the impressive achievements of the Royal Government of Cambodia in achieving sustained and high economic growth over the last decade, the strong decline in poverty, meeting most of the Millennium Development Goals, and boosting shared prosperity.”
“Having better roads, supporting poor villagers who depend on agricultural livelihoods and fishing, and access to better health care, are high priorities for Cambodia,” said Ulrich Zachau, Country Director of the World Bank for Southeast Asia. “The four projects signed today all contribute to improving the lives of poor Cambodians, and we are glad to support them. We look forward to working together closely and in strong partnership with Cambodia under the new Country Engagement Note, for the benefit of all Cambodians.”
The financing program under the CEN includes seven investment projects, totaling about $250 million of funding from IDA. The program is focused on development priorities for Cambodia and reflects the results of in-country consultations and requests by the government for World Bank Group investment financing and advisory support.
The CEN benefited from extensive consultations with stakeholders across Cambodia, including national and local governments, Parliament, local and international civil society, private and business sector, development partners and UN agencies. The CEN envisions the World Bank Group’s renewed full engagement in Cambodia, following a pause in new IDA financing commitments since 2011. In the last five years, the Bank has maintained an active presence in Cambodia by disbursing funds under existing projects.