Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said the government welcomed investments worth €80 million ($97 million) from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the Irrigated Agriculture Improvement Project (IAIP) in Cambodia.
He regarded this project as a crucial step towards improving living conditions and agricultural production in the country.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), EIB, EU and the Cambodian government will be joining hands to implement the project.
In a press release on December 15, the EIB said the purpose of IAIP is to modernise water supply infrastructure and irrigation systems in rural Cambodia.
Pornmoniroth said: “The IAIP will also allow Cambodia to become more adaptive to climate change, and improve the way we manage our water for agricultural purposes and practices.
“The project is an efficient model of how different partners can unite around a single vision and work towards a more resilient and prosperous Cambodia.”
The IAIP will benefit nearly 200,000 people in five provinces, covering 51,000ha of arable land.
The project has a target of reducing rural poverty and contribute to sustainable agricultural practices and food security.
EIB media officer Tibor Jona told The Post on December 16 that the five target provinces are Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Takeo and Kampot.
EIB vice-president Christian Kettel Thomsen, who is responsible for operations in Cambodia, said the technical and financing support of the project would make Cambodia stronger, safer and more resilient to the effects of climate change.
“The project will also help to address the post-Covid-19 green recovery needs of Cambodia. The EIB is very proud to be recognised as a strong partner of the Royal Government of Cambodia,” he said.
Likewise, EU ambassador to Cambodia Carmen Moreno said the project aims to boost agricultural production and increase climate and disaster resilience. Also, it would provide the country with critical technical engagement and the tools to improve its water governance.
“With this new project, Team Europe continues to support Cambodia in its inclusive and green recovery efforts after Covid-19,” she said.
She added that the project is an essential part of the economic sector in the Kingdom.
According to EIB, IAIP is the third project it has invested in Cambodia since its presence in the Kingdom in 2018. The projects have a total investment value of $271 million.