The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $70 million loan to help provide a more efficient, safe, and disaster resilient transport sector in Cambodia, particularly by improving national roads in the provinces of Prey Veng, Siem Reap, and Svay Rieng along the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Southern Economic Corridor.
“In Cambodia, roads are the dominant mode of transport, making road transport critical to the country’s social and economic development. However, the road subsector in Cambodia remains inefficient and fragmented,” said Oyunchimeg Erdene, a Senior Transport Specialist at ADB. “Apart from enhancing existing roads in the three focus areas, the project will also help improve the government’s capacity in road asset management.”
Cambodia’s road networks currently have low levels of connectivity and efficiency due to incomplete regulatory frameworks, low institutional capacity, limited private sector participation, and the lack of sustainability of road assets. There is a need to repair and rehabilitate some of the over 15,400 kilometers (km) of national and provincial roads managed by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) to enhance Cambodia’s connectivity, particularly, with its neighboring countries within the GMS, according to ADB.
Specifically, the Road Network Improvement Project will improve 147 km of unsafe and flood prone national road sections, while providing all-weather connectivity and climate resilience. It will also enhance the government’s capacity, through MPWT, to better manage its road assets through better operations and maintenance. In addition, the project will improve people’s awareness of road safety and traffic regulations.
A notable feature of the project is the pilot testing of a hybrid performance-based contract for undertaking road works which involves construction and routine maintenance, increasing private sector participation in road maintenance. It is designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of road asset management in Cambodia by expanding the scope of contractors from project executors to road managers.