On 31 January 2014, the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Board of Directors agreed to bring the GMS: Rehabilitation of the Railway in Cambodia Project into full compliance with its safeguard policies following a report by ADB’s Compliance Review Panel (CRP).
The CRP report highlighted numerous instances of insufficient compensation to affected households. It also found that ADB did not fully comply with its policies relating to consultation and communication with affected households. It determined there were deficiencies with some resettlement site facilities; an inadequate grievance redress mechanism; and delays in income restoration programs.
With more than 90% of all affected households having received some compensation and more than 80% of the households that were entitled to relocate having received their plots of land, ADB acknowledges that full compensation has been an issue. Resettlement is a process, and ADB is fully cognizant that this process is not yet complete, particularly in terms of ensuring all affected households are compensated and assisted in accordance with ADB’s policies.
ADB also recognizes there is a need to strengthen project monitoring. Consultations with affected households should have been more frequent to ensure their views were better reflected in the resettlement process.
ADB agrees that compensation deficits and other deficiencies should be rectified as soon as possible. ADB is fully committed to immediately engaging with the Government of Cambodia and other stakeholders to prepare an achievable, time-bound action plan. This will be put together within 60 days and implemented as soon as possible.
Compliance review is part of ADB’s Accountability Mechanism, one of several independent assessment processes designed to ensure effectiveness and compliance of its projects with ADB’s policies, and to engage affected persons, civil society, and other stakeholders in ADB activities in a transparent manner.
The full final report of the Compliance Review Panel and the recommendations approved by the Board will be available by 7 February 2014.