Cambodia, ADB Sign Loan and Grant Agreements to Boost Various Areas

The Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed loan and grant agreements for six projects worth US$361.4 million in the areas of education, health, energy, trade, competitiveness, livestock, and marine fisheries production.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance H.E. Dr. Aun Pornmoniroth and ADB Country Director for Cambodia Ms. Jyotsana Varma signed the agreements at an official ceremony in Phnom Penh today.

According to an ADB’s press release, with this, the total loans and grants this year are US$576.3 million, of which US$163.7 million is cofinancing from other development partners.

Together these projects will boost science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in Cambodia, expand health care coverage along border areas, accelerate the country’s clean energy transition, strengthen trade and competitiveness, and support climate-smart livestock and marine fisheries production.

“The six projects signed today will support various aspects of Cambodia’s socio-economic development in line with the government’s Rectangular Strategy IV. These projects will strengthen Cambodia’s health and education systems to boost human capital, address climate change through both mitigation and adaptation solutions, and enhance the country’s competitiveness,” said Ms. Varma.

The US$70 million Cambodia Science and Technology Project in Upper Secondary Education will help Cambodia develop high-quality human resources, especially in the STEM field, as the country aspires to transform itself into a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy. The project aims to increase the effectiveness of upper secondary education and targets to push high enrolment in new generation schools, especially girls.

The US$32.5 million Cambodia Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Border Areas Health Project will expand health care coverage to several thousand migrant workers vulnerable to communal health risks and for populations in border areas. The project will also pilot a low-cost migrant health insurance scheme and strengthen outpatient service utilisation at the Poipet Referral Hospital.

The US$73 million Energy Transition Sector Development Programme combines policy reforms and project investments that will mutually support each other to maximise gains and pave the way for public and private sector investments in critical new technologies such as energy efficiency and storage. The programme will also set clean energy targets for the country and integrate improved power development and energy use planning across sectors, including climate proofing critical infrastructure.

The US$50 million Trade and Competitiveness Programme will support government efforts in Cambodia’s post-pandemic economic recovery to reform the investment and business environment; foster the growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; and improve trade policy and trade facilitation. The programme will support 50,000 new small and medium-sized enterprises to register through the Online Business Registry.

The US$62.9 million GMS Cross-Border Livestock Health and Value Chains Improvement Project will help promote climate-smart livestock production and improve sustainability along the livestock value chain. The project targets to increase the formal regional trade in livestock and livestock products with neighbouring countries.

The US$73 million Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries Project will target four coastal provinces in Cambodia to reverse the sharp decline in fisheries, promote sustainable mariculture, and enhance fish landing sites to improve seafood safety. The project is expected to regenerate about 40 percent of nearshore fishery into more productive and sustainable enterprise and increase incomes for a coastal community of about 200,000 people.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.