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World Bank unveils solid waste management project

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Trash bags piled up in front of houses in Phnom Penh's Chamkarmon district, Pshar Doeum Thkov commune on February 22, 2021. Hean Rangsey

World Bank unveils solid waste management project

The World Bank in Cambodia has presented a new initiative concerning local solid waste management, which looks set to be another among the four ongoing major development projects jointly implemented by the government and the Washington-based multilateral lender, according to Minister of Interior Sar Kheng.

The new project was discussed at a virtual conference on December 9, where the minister welcomed newly-appointed World Bank country manager for Cambodia Maryam Salim and met her colleagues.

Given Salim’s work experience, Sar Kheng believes the US development body’s cooperation with Cambodia will strengthen and grow in all fields, especially now as the Kingdom and the rest of the world contend with the Covid-19-driven economic crises.

He said the government is laying out all the necessary economic and health measures to ensure support for the livelihoods of the people in need and to ensure the safety of the community from Covid-19.

The minister thanked the institution for its versatile strategy and partnership in carrying out support projects during Covid, as well as post-pandemic economic recovery plans.

He also spoke highly of the World Bank-supported projects aimed at improving governance in the Kingdom, especially those with a focus on decentralisation and deconcentration reforms.

Cambodia has completed at least three such initiatives, including the Rural Investment and Local Governance Project (RILGP), which secured financing for sub-national administrations from 2003-2010, according to Sar Kheng.

Then there was the Cambodia Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) Project, which the minister said provided investment financing from 2009-2014. The third was a 2015-2016 social welfare project, he added.

Sar Kheng listed the four major ongoing World Bank-backed projects as: a social accountability support project, the Cambodia Nutrition Project (CNP), the Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development Project III (Lased III) and Livelihood Enhancement and Association of the Poor Project (Leap).

He said the progress and results of the projects were a tangible indicator of the World Bank’s support for the Kingdom.

Salim commended the government for its handle on the Covid crisis, and noted that various safeguards have been laid out to bolster the economic situations of the people, citing the vaccination campaign as a notable example.

She said the proposed local solid waste management project was still in the consultation phase, and would require the support of the Ministry of Interior and other relevant institutions to ensure its success.

Salim also sought feedback from Sar Kheng, which she said would improve the effectiveness of the project.

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