The Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $332.05 million financing package agreement to undergird the Kingdom’s Covid response, further develop the financial industry, build urban infrastructure and help improve the road network.

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth and ADB acting country director for Cambodia Anthony Robert Gill penned the loan and grant agreements for the $30 million Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Health Security Project, the $180 million Liveable Cities Investment Project, the $82.05 million second phase of the Road Network Improvement Project and the $40 million Inclusive Financial Sector Development Programme.

Gill said: “As Cambodia’s long-standing development partner, ADB is committed to supporting the country’s economic competitiveness and inclusive development.

“The projects will boost Cambodia’s economic recovery by improving health facilities, financial inclusion, infrastructure and urban services at strategic locations, including road networks,” he added.

The GMS Health Security Project is designed to improve laboratory services and infection prevention control at 81 provincial and district hospitals across the Kingdom.

Funded by a $5 million grant from the Japanese government’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), the project aims to boost disease surveillance and response systems, Covid-19 outbreak management and contact tracing at central, provincial and district health agencies.

The Liveable Cities Investment Project seeks to help provide better wastewater and solid waste management services to more than 140,000 residents in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet, the Kampot provincial capital and Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet.

It purports to help the three towns upgrade urban stormwater and drainage systems and reduce flooding. JFPR has provided a $2 million technical assistance grant to shore up work to improve, inter alia, land use planning and governance.

Phase II of the Road Network Improvement Project will rehabilitate 48km of national and provincial roads in Prey Veng and Kandal provinces to spur economic development along the GMS Southern Economic Corridor. The project will adopt disaster- and climate-resilient designs and help the Ministry of Public Works and Transport with road management.

The Inclusive Financial Sector Development Programme intends to help the government expand access to credit among micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), implement reforms to boost financial stability, and upgrade financial sector infrastructure.

ADB is implementing investment projects totalling $2.08 billion in Cambodia. Last year the Metro Manila-based development lender provided $477.2 million in sovereign loans and grants to the Kingdom and catalysed an additional $281.3 million through co-financing.

ADB’s lending pipeline for 2021-2024 includes $1.38 billion in concessional lending and $36.8 million in grants to support the Kingdom’s economic development and recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

The lender says it is committed to achieving a “prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable” Asia-Pacific region, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members – 49 from the region.