Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t gets $29M ADB loan to improve public services in rural areas



Gov’t gets $29M ADB loan to improve public services in rural areas

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide $29 million in loans to support the government’s efforts to improve public services in the Kingdom’s rural areas. ADB CAMBODIA

Gov’t gets $29M ADB loan to improve public services in rural areas

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide $29 million in loans to support the government’s efforts to improve public services through reforms in public finance management and decentralisation in rural areas.

Cambodia first conducted decentralisation reforms in 2001. The new loans will supplement the reforms’ ongoing efforts.

An ADB press release on September 22 said the Second Decentralised Public Service and Financial Management Sector Development Programme includes a $20 million policy-based loan that will support a programmatic approach to strengthening local governments’ fiscal planning, management, and public administration.

It also includes a $9.35 million project loan to help build the National School of Local Administration, a dedicated training centre for local government officials. In addition, the government will provide the project with $1.7 million in financing.

Senior public sector management specialist at Asian Development Bank (ADB) Jhelum Thomas said the plan aims to assist locals across the Kingdom to receive sustainable, effective and efficient delivery of basic public services.

He said it will shorten the time taken for people to receive the services, whether they live in the countryside or the city.

“The plan addresses how Covid-19 has made some people move from the city to rural areas. It puts more pressure on local administrations in providing necessary social support and basic services such as roads, water supplies and sanitation to support inclusive and equitable growth,” she said.

The ADB said Cambodia’s gross domestic product grew eight per cent on average annually from 1999 to last year, reducing poverty to 13.5 per cent in 2014 from 47.8 per cent in 2007. But more than 70 per cent of Cambodians lived on less than $3 a day during that time.

Access to basic services has been uneven in the country and poor and vulnerable households are especially at high risk.

The ADB expects that the fund will improve incomes and expense management in response to local needs and help train local authorities.

Ministry of Finance spokesman Meas Sok Sensan welcomes ADB’s plan. It is beneficial for citizens and the government to achieve their decentralisation reform goals, he said.

“The Ministry of Finance also agrees with ADB and benefits from this agreement. Our aim is to cooperate to give good public services through important reforms in public financial management and decentralisation,” he said.

Democratic Institute president Pa Chanroeun said the ADB fund will make it easier for citizens to receive public services.

He said during the Covid-19 crisis, the government lost a lot of money, which caused the sector to face funding shortages. The reform process, he said, will be slow.

“Although State incomes for the last period are dependant on itself – from collecting taxes and income from other sectors, the budget that we use for sub-level administration is still limited. If there is only a policy of reform but no financial policy, then reforms will not be fast and effective,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to