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EU Gives $17m Grant to Accelerate Rural Infrastructure Development

Phnom Penh: A $17 million grant for Cambodia from the European Union through the Europe Investment Bank (EIB) will be used for rural infrastructure development in Cambodia. The grant is part of the project to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Assets for Agriculture Markets, Business and Trade (SAAMBAT). SAAMBAT is a $120 million partnership investment made by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the EIB and the Royal Government of Cambodia.

It is aimed to improve the living standards and the ease of doing business for some 200,000 rural Cambodian families by creating a reliable and safer road network year-round, better rural infrastructure and a reliable food supply. These are vital for Cambodia, where two-thirds of all rural households face seasonal food shortages every year due to as yet underdeveloped infrastructure. The project will also generate up to 4,500 jobs and 500 new small and medium-sized enterprises, and train 25,000 Cambodians to use digital technologies to improve their businesses and increase trade.

With the support of Team Europe and IFAD investments and grants, and funds from the Royal Government, Cambodia will build some 650 kilometres of paved road and 150 kilometres of gravel road, and improve 50 rural market areas and about 25 other value chain logistics facilities. The Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Hem Vanndy, says that the grant will be an important contribution to the rapid and sustainable development of rural communities in Cambodia and to the green recovery from the pandemic.

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