World Bank Provides Additional Financing for Improved Connectivity and Emergency Response in Cambodia

Cambodia will improve the condition, safety, and climate resilience of a key national highway, with US$110 million in additional financing approved yesterday by the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors.

According to a World Bank's press release AKP received this morning, the additional support to the Road Asset Management Project II (RAMP II) is also expected to provide an immediate and effective response in case of an emergency.

The most direct corridor linking Phnom Penh to Cambodia's only deep-sea port in Preah Sihanouk province, National Road 4 endures heavy traffic through several economic zones and rich agricultural areas including some large-scale farms. Through this additional financing, more than 200 kilometres will be upgraded with an overlay of asphalt concrete, shoulders will be replaced and drains and bridges will be built along flood prone areas.

Cambodia's economic development relies on National Road 4, as it is the only road connecting the economic centre of the country to the deep seaport of Cambodia, said H.E. Pheng Sovicheano, Secretary of State for Public Works and Transport and Project Director. Improvement of this key corridor will reduce travel time and logistic costs, which would help Cambodia's economy to be more competitive in the region.

In addition to introducing innovative road designs that include climate proofing, the additional financing will upgrade existing weighing stations and reduce the risk of overloading. Road safety will be prioritised, through the installation of speed-limit zoning, safety corridors and feeder road improvements that include guide-signs, solar powered lights and speed cameras. Performance-based contracts will be used in order to maximise effective use of the funding.

Infrastructure gaps are a significant barrier to competitiveness and private sector development. Upgrading National Road 4 will address this challenge and broaden economic opportunities for Cambodians, said Ms. Inguna Dobraja, the World Bank's Country Manager for Cambodia.

The additional financing scales up the existing RAMP II, approved in May 2016, which aims to improve the connectivity along national road corridors in Kampot, Preah Sihanouk, Thbong Khmom, and Kratie provinces. It also enables an immediate response in case of an eligible crisis or emergency.

The new funding, which extends this support by eight-and-half-years, comes from the International Development Association, the Bank's fund for the poorest countries. It is a credit without interest, with a final maturity of 38 years, including a grace period of six years.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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