PHNOM PENH, July 6, 2016—Cambodia has the opportunity to maintain robust growth and continue lifting people out of poverty and sharing prosperity among all its people. The key will be continued sound policies, openness, and critical programs and investments, in both the public and private sectors, to promote inclusive growth, said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, during her first visit to Cambodia.
From July 4-6, Kwakwa met with Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and other high-level government officials, as well as with members of Cambodian civil society, private sector and local development partners to discuss how to improve the lives of Cambodians, especially those most vulnerable. She also visited Cambodia-Russia Friendship hospital where poor patients are treated and costs are covered by the Health Equity Fund supported by the World Bank and other partners.
“Cambodians told us that having better roads, supporting poor villagers who depend on agricultural livelihoods and fishing, and access to better health care, are among their priorities,” said Victoria Kwakwa.
In response to that, in June of this year, Cambodia and the World Bank signed agreements for four new projects to improve road surfaces, help better manage fisheries, improve livelihoods of farmers dependent on agriculture in targeted rural communities, and increase access to health care. The projects are supported with $130 million from the International Development Association, or IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Cambodians will also soon benefit from more employment opportunities as the International Finance Corporation, the Bank Group’s private sector development institution, is expanding its engagement in the finance and infrastructure sectors, and trade and competitiveness.
“Cambodia has great development opportunities. Through our engagements with Cambodia, and together with all development partners, we strive to contribute to improving the lives of the poor and indeed all Cambodians,” said Victoria Kwakwa.