AfDB grants $ 180 million loan for urban services in Cambodia

The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) approved a loan of $ 180 million to help three cities in Cambodia improve their urban infrastructure and boost economic competitiveness.

According to an AfDB press release issued this morning, the Livable Cities investment project will help more than 140,000 residents of Bavet, Kampot and Poipet access better sewage and solid waste management services. It will help cities reduce flooding by improving their urban stormwater and drainage systems. The project also aims to strengthen the capacity of municipal governments to provide urban services.

“More and more Cambodians are settling in secondary cities, but limited access to urban infrastructure and services, as well as environmental degradation, have worsened living conditions and hampered urban economic growth.” said Wei Kim Swain, AfDB Urban Development Specialist. “The project will help the government improve sanitation and waste management and raise living standards, especially among low-income households vulnerable to the health, economic and environmental effects of poor sanitation. It will also help municipalities attract private sector investment and create jobs.

Cambodia’s urban population grew to 6 million in 2019, from 2.6 million in 2008, posing a challenge for municipal governments to provide services. In 2019, around 47% of Cambodia’s urban population had access to piped water supply in their homes. Untreated wastewater is typically discharged to the open environment through combined sewers and road drains or indirectly through open canals. Solid waste management services are limited. Much of the solid waste is not collected, dumped in open canals, in open environment or burned.

Cambodia’s National Strategic Development Plan for 2019-2023 aims to address these challenges. The plan prioritizes investments in public infrastructure, including water supply and sanitation, and sets a national target for all cities to provide safe drinking water by 2025 and strengthen management. solid waste.

The AfDB Country Partnership Strategy for Cambodia, 2019-2023, supports economic growth along the southern economic corridor of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), where Bavet, Kampot and Poipet are located. Bavet and Poipet are entry points to Vietnam and Thailand, and the port city of Kampot has become a tourist destination.

In Bavet and Poipet, the project will support the rehabilitation of existing canals and the construction of a wastewater treatment plant, a sewerage network, new storm water drains and landfills. In Kampot, the project will expand the sewerage network and present a plan for local governments to become self-sufficient service providers.

The project will provide a roadmap to stimulate revenue collection by municipal governments, which have relied heavily on central government grants to provide services. The roadmap will include tariff reform to cover city operations and maintenance and a plan to ensure efficient service delivery, including an assessment of opportunities for private sector participation.

The new AfDB project will be supported by a technical assistance grant of $ 2 million from the Japan Poverty Reduction Fund. Technical assistance will focus on the sustainable and climate resilient development of cities, including improved land use planning, as well as institutional capacity and governance. The AfDB will work with the Ministry of Land Use Planning, Town Planning and Construction in coordination with participating cities and ministries for national regulatory and policy reforms.

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