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Cambodia and ADB

ADB has been at the forefront of supporting Cambodia’s response and recovery from COVID-19 with budget support and advisory services.

ADB's Work in Cambodia

ADB Membership

Joined 1966

Shareholding and Voting Power

Number of shares held:
5,250 (0.049% of total shares)

44,364 (0.334% of total membership, 0.512% of total regional membership)

Overall capital subscription:
$75.61 million

Paid-in capital subscription:
$6.31 million

Over the past 20 years, Cambodia has made excellent progress in poverty reduction and human development, on the back of strong growth in agriculture, garment manufacturing, and tourism. However, these recent gains have been threatened by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, leaving many vulnerable to poverty and genderrelated disparities. The country is also highly exposed to the impacts of climate change and faces significant challenges in sustaining growth and maintaining progress in health and education.

Cambodia achieved lower middle-income status in 2015 and aims to recover from COVID-19 and become an upper middleincome country by 2030. To do so, it is diversifying its manufacturing sector beyond garments and textiles, with strong growth in high-value exports.

Since 1966, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has committed loans, grants, and technical assistance totaling $4.5 billion for Cambodia, of which $782.7 million was mobilized from cofinancing.

Cambodia's coastal regionCambodia's coastal region

Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to Cambodia amount to $2.65 billion. These were financed by regular and concessional ordinary capital resources, the Asian Development Fund, and other special funds.

ADB-Supported Projects and Programs

ADB is helping Cambodia respond to the challenges caused by COVID-19, while sustaining progress on longer-term development goals. The bank’s support is framed by the country partnership strategy for Cambodia, 2019–2023, which is helping improve economic competitiveness, upgrade human capital, achieve green and inclusive growth, and strengthen governance.

In 2020, ADB committed $477.2 million in sovereign loans and grants and catalyzed an additional $281.3 million in cofinancing for Cambodia. This included a $250 million concessional loan and $241.6 million of cofinancing for the Cambodia COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program. This program is supporting a comprehensive and inclusive response to the pandemic and includes actions to prevent a health crisis, provide social assistance to poor and vulnerable groups, and support economic recovery. ADB has also provided rapid assistance through its ongoing regional health security projects.

ADB’s investment program is increasingly focused on innovation. In agriculture, for example, ADB has helped develop a Weather Indexed Crop Insurance and a national Farming System Management Information System. In education, the bank helped develop Cambodia’s Skills Development Fund to deliver more market-oriented skills training.

ADB’s support for the Skills Development Fund is the latest chapter in a strong partnership in education. Since 2016, the bank has provided $155 million for upper secondary education (strengthening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses) and skills development. These investments have benefited around 558,000 upper secondary students (40% female) and 31,200 skills trainees (50% female).

Regional training center in CambodiaThe regional training center is a part of ADB-supported project to improve rural income responded to labor market needs and the demands of business in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

To improve competitiveness and promote green growth, ADB has been scaling up support for Cambodia’s energy sector. The bank has financed the construction of 2,110 circuit-kilometers of low voltage transmission lines, helping connect poor households to the grid in five provinces. It has also supported the development of a 10-megawatt solar farm at Bavet and a public–private partnership for a 100-megawatt solar power park. In 2020, ADB approved a $127.8 million loan to expand the national grid and a $6.7 million grant to pilot the first utility-scale battery energy storage system.

ADB is helping integrate water resource management and expand irrigation in Cambodia. Its investments have improved the livelihoods of 50,000 poor households, strengthened the climate resilience of agricultural infrastructure, and promoted commercialization and crop diversification. ADB is also helping the government manage rapid urbanization through better urban planning and construction of infrastructure for clean water supply, wastewater treatment, and solid waste management.

ADB is a key player in strengthening governance by supporting government-led decentralization and public financial management reforms. In 2020, it committed $29.4 million to strengthen the capacity of subnational administrations. ADB also helped Cambodia prepare and implement its Financial Sector Development Strategy, 2016–2025.

In transport, ADB has financed the rehabilitation of about 1,710 kilometers of rural, provincial, and national roads and upgraded cross-border transport facilities. It has also supported road asset management for improved road safet.

Nonsovereign Operations

As a catalyst for private investments, ADB provides financial assistance to nonsovereign projects and financial intermediaries. Total commitments in loans and equity investments from ADB’s own funds in 2020 amounted to $1.4 billion for 38 transactions in economic and social infrastructure, finance sector, and agribusiness.

ADB also actively mobilizes cofinancing from commercial and concessional sources. In 2020, ADB mobilized $1.9 billion of long-term project cofinancing and $3.3 billion of cofinancing through its Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program and Microfinance Program. Total outstanding balances and commitments of nonsovereign transactions funded by ADB’s own resources stood at $14.3 billion as of 31 December 2020.

Total outstanding balances and commitments of ADB’s nonsovereign transactions in Cambodia as of 31 December 2020 was $42.9 million, representing 0.3% of ADB’s total nonsovereign portfolio.

Financing Partnerships

Financing partnerships enable ADB’s financing partners, governments or their agencies, multilateral financing institutions, and commercial organizations to participate in financing ADB projects. The additional funds are provided in the form of loans and grants, technical assistance, and other nonsovereign cofinancing such as B loans, risk transfer arrangements, parallel loans and equity, guarantee cofinancing, and cofinancing for transactions under ADB’s Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program and Microfinance Program.

ADB began cofinancing operations in Cambodia in 1992. Since then, sovereign cofinancing commitments for Cambodia have amounted to $1 billion for 53 investment projects and $65.24 million for 59 technical assistance projects. Nonsovereign cofinancing for Cambodia has amounted to $31.83 million for three investment projects.

In 2020, Cambodia received a total of $291.49 million loan cofinancing from the Agence Française de Développement, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Infrastructure Fund for three investment projects; and a total of $9.7 million grant cofinancing from the Clean Energy Fund, the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, and the Strategic Climate Fund for two investment projects.

A summary of projects with cofinancing is available at Cambodia: Cofinancing.

ADB's Country Partnership Strategy with Cambodia for 2019–2023 supports the country's ongoing transition through investments, technical assistance, knowledge and policy advice.

Operational Challenges

ADB has conducted joint performance reviews with the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the World Bank on its Cambodia portfolio. These reviews have contributed to sustained improvements in project design, project start-up, and the quality and timely submission of audit reports. Areas with scope for further improvement include project management, procurement management, compliance with taxation laws and regulations, and compliance with safeguards.

To strengthen project implementation, ADB helped the government update the standard operating procedures for implementation of externally financed projects.

Future Directions

ADB will continue strategic support for Cambodia as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank’s country partnership strategy covering 2019–2023 is aligned with key national strategies including the Industrial Development Plan, 2016–2025 and the Rectangular Strategy, Phase IV, 2019–2023. The partnership strategy is operationalized through a country operations business plan for 2021–2023, which includes almost $1.3 billion in loan-financed investments and a comprehensive program of technical assistance and knowledge support.

ADB’s indicative lending program for 2021–2023 includes transformative investments in agriculture and natural resources; water and urban infrastructure; education and skills; clean energy; health security for COVID-19; and public sector management. ADB investments will promote greater use of innovative technologies and emphasize development of local capacity for the ultimate well-being of the Cambodian people.

This article was originally published in the ADB and Cambodia: Fact Sheet. Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information.

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