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PRESS RELEASEMarch 15, 2024

World Bank Approves Additional Financing to Improve Road Climate Resilience

Climate resilient roads will improve access to health, education, markets  

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2024 — Rural roads in three Cambodian provinces will become better able to withstand climate impacts and ensure Cambodians have access to critical services and markets despite bad weather as a result of the $35 million credit approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today.

The credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) will support the  Cambodia Road Connectivity Improvement Project (RCIP), which aims to improve climate resilient road access to markets, health services, and schools across Kratie, Kampong Cham, and Tbaung Khmum provinces. The three provinces have a population of over 2 million people, of whom 80% live in rural areas. The RCIP was approved in July 2020, with financing of $100 million.

The RCIP channels investment to road networks in provinces that were identified by the World Bank’s Country Climate and Development Report for Cambodia as extremely exposed to climate risks and that lagged with regard to pavement coverage and effective floodwater management. The climate vulnerability of these road networks puts at risk access to critical services such as education and health care, with negative effects on the residents of these provinces that accumulate over time. Poor road conditions also raise transportation and logistics costs for critical agriculture products produced in the targeted provinces.

This additional financing will help pay for higher-than-anticipated project costs, mainly for road works contracts. High inflation and price increases of key inputs, including fuel and bitumen, over the past three years have resulted in higher costs than estimated in 2019 before the approval of the original project. Further, additional climate resilience interventions identified by detailed survey works and engineering designs for the project roads have further increased financing needs. Currently, road rehabilitation works have been underway across 130km of targeted national and provincial roads, and 142km out of 270km targeted rural roads.

“Access to health and school facilities and moving goods to markets, in particular during the rainy season, has posed great challenges for Cambodian people in rural areas,” said Maryam Salim, World Bank Country Manager for Cambodia. “Also, poor road conditions, disruptions caused by floods, and high transportation costs are major impediments to access to health care and emergency care for expectant mothers.”

The project is also supporting the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Rural Development, the two implementing agencies of the project, with critical institutional development. This includes developing a resilient rural road financing strategy, supporting road safety improvements, supporting implementation of gender mainstreaming action plans, and managing performance-based contracts for road improvement and maintenance to improve infrastructure sustainability.



In Washington:
Mark Felsenthal
+1 (202) 458-0051
In Phnom Penh:
Saroeun Bou
855 12 414 088


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