The Japanese ambassador is set to sign a new aid package today pledging about $140 million worth of support for various projects, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Funding will go to four projects: flood protection and drainage in Phnom Penh, the renovation of the Battambang Provincial Referral Hospital, the development of National Road 5 and the expansion of the water supply system in Kampong Thom.
“Japan is one of our most important partners and has significantly contributed to Cambodia’s economic, social, and infrastructure development. These projects are expected to improve Cambodia’s regional connectivity and to enhance peoples’ well-being,” the release reads.
About $98 million of the package will fund the improvement of National Road 5 between Battambang town with Banteay Meanchey’s Sisophon town.
However, one traffic expert reacted cautiously to the news.
“We have observed that when roads improve, accidents increase,” said Institute for Road Safety head Ear Chariya, noting people drive more recklessly. “Not enough attention is given to traffic safety during the road construction process.”