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World Bank Approves $200-Million Covid-19 Recovery Assistance for Cambodia

Phnom Penh: Cambodia’s fight against Covid-19 and its post-pandemic recovery have received a major shot in the arm. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $200-million “International Development Association” credit for the country on Friday. The funds are designed to assist Cambodia deal with its current crisis by providing relief to those worst affected, But also to boost the country’s economic recovery.

World Bank Country Manager for Cambodia, Ms. Inguna Dobraja says there is a clear need in Cambodia to provide resources quickly in support of the Royal Government’s “comprehensive programme that protects the poorest from the impacts of the crisis”. She says the new funds will also help Cambodia with its economic and social recovery.

The World Bank says Cambodia is facing an unprecedented economic crisis. In 2020, its economy contracted for the first time in thirty years, by 3.1%. The 20 February Community Outbreak has only made things worse. Economic sectors most impacted are garment manufacturing, tourism and construction, creating “additional challenges” for a sustained recovery.

The World Bank worries that without financial support, the pandemic in Cambodia could yet result in an even sharper rise in unemployment and poverty. It says the Royal Government has done well to introduce emergency response measures and is already preparing a post-Covid Economic Recovery Plan. The bank says its latest cash injection will support those actions.

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