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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ADB PROVIDES CAMBODIA $69 MILLION TO IMPROVE PROVINCIAL ROADS

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Date: 21 February 2012


PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA –The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support a major upgrade of provincial roads in some of Cambodia’s poorest provinces as part of a $69 million project signed today by ADB’s Vice-President Stephen P. Groff and the Minister of Economy and Finance H.E. Keat Chhon.
The Provincial Roads Improvement Project, financed by a $52 million loan from ADB’s Special Funds and a $17 million loan and grant from the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), will be used to rehabilitate about 150 kilometers of unpaved provincial roads in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces, home to a large number of the country’s rural poor. The project will also address growing road safety and climate change challenges.

“Efficient transport is critical for economic growth. This initiative will provide safe, cost-effective and year-round access to markets, employment centers and social services for poor and remote communities,” Mr. Groff said.

Cambodia’s remote rural economy is becoming increasingly dependent on the road network. However, the steady growth in traffic, overloaded cargo vehicles, and poor road maintenance funding and standards continue to take a severe toll on the 9,500 kilometers of secondary national and provincial roads, with only 11% paved. As a result, economic opportunities are limited, and road safety has become a serious concern, with the highest accident rate in the region.

The project will address road safety by providing community-based road safety awareness programs for staff and agencies engaged in planning, managing and maintaining roads. It will also introduce axle load control at strategic locations on provincial roads and enhance regional transport and trade activities in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) corridors.

Given the floods and other severe weather-related events that Cambodia has faced in recent years, the project takes an innovative approach to climate resilience by introducing ecosystem-based adaptation strategies, road design features, and plans for disaster preparedness, mitigation, and response for natural disasters. The project is designed to ensure women and local residents benefit from road construction work.
Since the early 1990s, ADB has supported Cambodia to build or upgrade its road network including national, provincial and rural roads. By the end of 2011, ADB’s assistance to the transport sector consisted of 11 projects amounting to $373.26 million.

ADB’s loan for the Provincial Road Improvement Project, from its concessional Special Funds, will have 32 year term including an eight-year grace period carrying a 1.0% per annum interest charge, rising to 1.5% a year for the balance of the term.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is the executing agency for the project, which will commence in April 2012 and be completed in March 2017.


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