At the 32nd ASEAN Summit in 2018, Siem Reap – one of the most attractive tourism cities in Cambodia – was selected as an ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) Pilot City.
And JICA has collaborated with the Siem Reap Provincial Administration since 2020 towards “Smart City” realisation.
In May 2022, the “Project for Implementation of Smart City Approach to Solve Urban Issues in Siem Reap” was launched as a JICA technical cooperation project.
The “Smart City Approach” is a concept that seeks to solve various urban issues by utilising smart technologies with appropriate urban management and residents’ trust in the process of implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The project is being implemented over three years to formulate a roadmap and build the capacity of officials for Siem Reap to be a “Smart City”. This is part of the vision – “FOR Citizens and Visitors, WITH Angkor Heritage, Khmer Culture and Nature, BY Solutions using Smart Technologies, and TOWARDS an Attractive and Sustainable Society”.
The project will implement pilot activities, including the monitoring of illegal parking, improving waste collection, the digitalisation of tourism statistics, tracking internal government documents and monitoring the urban environment, with public-private collaborations for tourism to reflect on lessons learned and fine tune the roadmap.
Promoting “Smart Cities” requires strong cooperation among industry, government, academia and communities.
Private industries play an important role in providing services, while the government facilitates the overall process, including policy and legal formulation, planning and project implementation.
Academia also has a strong contribution to make by carrying out research and development on smart technologies, project implementation and monitoring in collaboration with other stakeholders both domestically and internationally.
Eventually, the residents with first-hand experience of a “Smart City” will be the beneficiaries.
JICA-CMAC cooperation on mine action
In mid-January, eight trainees from the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) arrived in the Kingdom for demining training provided by the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC). The focus of the training was on how to use Japanese-made mine detectors.
Through the long-term partnership with JICA, CMAC has run 30 demining training programmes with five countries, with more than 600 people having taken part.
JICA is presently supporting CMAC to further enhance capacity in providing quality training through ongoing projects, which began in October 2020.
Cambodia is, as a state party to the Ottawa Convention, committed to clearing all known minefields by 2025.
And after Cambodia’s minefields are cleared, CMAC is expected to share its valuable knowledge and expertise to help rid the world of the scourge of landmines.
Strengthening the health system
JICA has – with the continuous support of the health sector over the past three decades through technical cooperation, grant aid and other schemes – been working with its counterparts in Cambodia to strengthen the health system to achieve Universal Health Coverage in the Kingdom by 2030.
Siem Reap Provincial Hospital is a public hospital and the top referral hospital for the northwestern region of Cambodia.
Recently, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and physical trauma have been increasing in the area due to a rise in disease transition and an increase in traffic accidents.
To meet the growing need for medical services, JICA has issued a grant for the “Project for Improvement of Referral Hospitals in Siem Reap Province”.
This is supporting the construction of a new four-storey building set over approximately 8.459sqm of total floor area on the grounds of the Siem Reap Provincial Hospital.
There will be 212 beds – 23 in the intensive care unit (ICU) – in the out-patients department, as well as emergency and surgical departments. Having begun in December 2021, construction is expected to be completed in September this year.
In addition to the new building, the project will provide medical equipment such as CT-scans, mobile X-rays, patient monitors and blood gas analysers for the Siem Reap Provincial Hospital.
Furthermore, the project aims to strengthen the capacity of medical services at four district referral hospitals by providing basic medical equipment. The amount of the grant is 2,153 million Japanese yen (around US$18.95 million).
The project is expected to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 and Sustainable Development Goal 11, and will be linked to the upgrading of provincial hospitals to regional hospitals to improve the healthcare system with improved facilities at the lower levels.
These will be resilient to Covid-19 and any other future pandemic to serve the general population reduce regional disparities regarding advanced medical services and NCD-related patient concentration in national hospitals.