Thursday, January 27, 2011
PHNOM PENH, Jan. 27, 2011 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday provided Cambodia 44 million U.S. dollars in grant and loan for three development projects. The grant and loan agreement was signed by Keat Chhon, Cambodia' s deputy prime minister and minister of economy and finance, and ADB.
The agreements cover the Financial Sector Program (Cluster 2, Subprogram 4), the Second Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Communicable Disease Control Project, and the GMS Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project.
ADB is providing loans of 10 million U.S. dollars and grants of 5 million U.S. dollars under the Financial Sector Program (Cluster 2, Subprogram 4), which supports development of a sound, market- based financial sector.
The program, which began in 2007, has led to increased bank lending of 1.52 billion US dollars, the creation of over 12,000 jobs, and the opening of over 980 new branches of banks and microfinance institutions throughout Cambodia.
To support the government's drive to minimize economic impact of public health threats, ADB is providing 10 million U.S. dollars in grants to expand surveillance response systems to control dengue outbreaks, and prevent the spread of communicable diseases in the GMS countries such as cholera, typhoid, and HIV/AIDS, as well as tropical illnesses such as Japanese encephalitis and schistosomiasis.
The community-based communicable disease control systems funded by the project cover around 1.7 million people living in 116 border districts in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. About one-third of the population in the target areas belong to ethnic minority groups.
The 19 million U.S. dollars grant for the Cambodia part of the GMS Biodiversity Project is part of the 69 million U.S. dollars GMS Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project, which aims to conserve more than 1.9 million hectares of threatened forest, home to over 170,000 mostly poor, ethnic minority groups in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
The project will include planting indigenous trees to restore habitats in over 19,000 hectares of degraded forest land.
"These GMS projects will support sustainable economic growth by preventing public health threats, reducing negative impacts on economic productivity, trade and tourism, and conserving threatened forest land. They will contribute to poverty reduction and income generation for poor and disadvantaged communities, including ethnic minorities," said Putu Kamayana, ADB Country Director for Cambodia.
With the signing today, ADB has approved a total of 160.8 million U.S. dollars in Asian Development Fund grants and loans for Cambodia in 2010, plus an additional 36.8 million U.S. dollars mobilized from co-financing partners such as the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund, the OPEC Fund for International Development and the Nordic Development Fund.