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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ADB PROVIDES CAMBODIA US$69 MILLION TO IMPROVE PROVINCIAL ROADS

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AKP Phnom Penh, February 22, 2012 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday provided US$69 million to Cambodia for the improvement of the provincial roads, an ADB’s press release said yesterday.
According to the press release, the fund will support a major upgrade of provincial roads in some of Cambodia’s poorest provinces.

It was signed yesterday by ADB’s Vice-President Stephen P. Groff and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance H.E. Keat Chhon.

The Provincial Roads Improvement Project, financed by a US$52 million loan from ADB’s Special Funds and a US$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.

“The efficient transport is critical for economic growth. This initiative will provide safe, 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 percent 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, the press release said.

By KHAN Sophirom


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