ADB Approves Financial Assistance to Help Cambodia Rebuild Following 2013 Floods

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $81.7 million, including a $6.7 million grant from the Government of Australia, in additional financing to help Cambodia recover from catastrophic floods in late 2013, which  affected 1.7 million people and caused an estimated $356 million in damage.

Loan and grant agreements were signed today by the Minister of Economy and Finance, His Excellency Aun Pornmoniroth, ADB Country Director for Cambodia, Eric Sidgwick, and Australian Ambassador, Alison Burrows.

“Reconstruction of critical infrastructure will help restore livelihoods by re-establishing access to markets and social services and increasing agricultural production. Climate resilient upgrades will also help protect infrastructure against damage from future flooding,” said Mr. Sidgwick.

The additional financing, bringing ADB’s total financing recovery to $130 million, will rebuild 376 kilometers of roads - including national and provincial roads and rural roads – as well as three bridges, and nine irrigation plans in six severely flood-affected provinces, including Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, and Siem Reap.

Cambodia experienced serious flash floods from late September to mid-October 2013, causing more extensive damage in some parts of the country than occurred during floods in 2011. While 20 provinces have been affected, the northwest region has been the hardest hit.

Estimates suggest at least 440 kilometers of national roads and 3,693 kilometers of rural roads have been damaged. More than 240,000 hectares of transplanted rice or seedlings have been affected and large numbers of schools and hospitals severely damaged.

ADB’s $75 million in additional financing follows a $3 million grant from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund disbursed in November 2013 to support immediate road and canal embankment repairs, and provision of rice seeds to impoverished famers. The reconstruction work will be conducted in two stages, and will be completed in 2017.

In 2012, ADB provided $55 million in loans to repair roads, bridges, and irrigation systems damaged in Cambodia’s devastating 2011 floods, and to improve disaster risk management. The Australian Government provided $5 million in grants.