The Asian Development Bank approved a US$69 million loan to Cambodia to improve more of its unpaved roads in four provinces on Wednesday.
The loan is for the rehabilitation of about 150 kilometres of roads in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Spey, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces.
At a signing ceremony with Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon, ADB vice-president Stephen Groff said the money would provide benefits both in terms of the economy and road safety.
“Efficient transport is critical for economic growth.
This initiative will provide safe, cost-effective and year-round access to markets, employment centres and social services for poor and remote communities,” he said.
Up to $52 million of the loan will come from the bank’s special funds, while another $17 million will be set aside from its pilot program for climate change resilience.
Mom Sibun, secretary of state at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport – the agency responsible for implementing the rehabilitation project – said more road improvements will help lower the cost and inconvenience of traveling.
“I think it will help a lot to our people to travel and transport goods,” he said.
“Before, when our roads were unpaved, we faced a lot of difficulties travelling and transporting products to the markets, in particular in the remote provinces.”
The road improvement is one the government’s key policies to help reduce poverty.
The projects will start in April this year and are expected to be completed by March 2017.