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Relocated still waiting to input on ADB plan

Families relocated to make way for Cambodia’s railway rehabilitation project have said the Asia Development Bank has left them in the dark yet again.

In February, the bank’s own internal watchdog, the compliance review panel, released a scathing report detailing how the ADB had failed in its own safeguards to protect those affected by the $143 million project. Families forced to vacate their properties were not properly consulted and had been left worse off, the CRP found.

The watchdog made recommendations to be implemented by a remedial action plan. The plan was to be completed within 60 days from January 31.

In a letter dated April 9 addressed to the president of the ADB in Cambodia, Eric Sidgwick, representatives of communities affected by the railway project said they were not consulted on the development of the action plan after they were given assurances by the ADB that they would be prior to it being submitted to the bank’s board.

“We are doubtful as to whether ADB Management intends to implement the recommendations as approved by the ADB Board,” the letter reads.

Acknowledging receipt of the letter, Sidgwick said via email yesterday that the Bank intended to honour its agreement to consult those affected as soon as possible.

“At this stage, as we have already stated, ADB and the Government have engaged in intensive discussions and reached agreement on key remedial actions, which will form the basis of consultations to be conducted with affected households,” he said.

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