Australia’s aid investments in Cambodia’s infrastructure include programs to improve the quality of rural roads and to support the private sector to connect rural households to piped water and electricity. Australia has also contributed to the rehabilitation and the maintenance of roads, bridges and other infrastructure damaged in the severe floods of 2011 and 2013.
3i Investing in Infrastructure
$45.4 million, 2015-2020
Investing in Infrastructure, or ‘3i’ for short, is a new and innovative investment in the infrastructure sector. We are working with the private sector to help companies connect households and businesses to utilities and other services, and to support new opportunities for trade-related businesses and industries. 3i is initially supporting infrastructure investment in the electricity and water sectors.
Cambodia Rural Roads Improvement Project Phase II
$22.6 million, 2014-2020
The Rural Roads Improvement Project Phase II, managed by the Asian Development Bank and Cambodian Ministry of Rural Development, aims to improve around 1,200km of rural roads across Cambodia. Co-financed by the ADB, Cambodian Government, Korea, France, Nordic Development Fund and Strategic Climate Fund, the project will ensure rehabilitated roads are climate resilient, providing 365 day access to schools, hospitals and markets on project roads. A 2015 assessment found that many rural roads are only accessible for around 200 days per year due to flooding and erosion.
Road safety in Cambodia is poor, and too many drivers, passengers and pedestrians are injured or killed each year. Through improved road quality and targeted road safety trainings, we expect to see a 20 per cent reduction in the road crash rate in project areas by 2020. At least 20 per cent of unskilled jobs under the project will go to women.
Cambodia Emergency Flood Rehabilitation Project
$12.6 million, 2012-2017
The Cambodia Emergency Flood Rehabilitation Project, with an initial Australian contribution of $5 million, was initiated in the wake of serious damage to Cambodia’s infrastructure during the severe Mekong region flooding in 2011.
The project is restoring critical public and social infrastructure assets necessary to restore livelihoods and access in affected provinces, and securing the social infrastructure services against future flooding. Project works include reconstructing flood-damaged national, provincial and rural roads, repairing flood-damaged irrigation schemes and strengthening emergency management capacity for natural disasters.
There was serious flooding again in late 2013, affecting different regions. Due to the continuing level of need and effective project performance, Australia entered into a second phase of this project, increasing its total contribution to $12.6 million.
Cambodia Rural Energy Project
$7.8 million, 2014-2017
Led by the Asian Development Bank, this project aims to increase access to affordable and reliable energy for rural communities. It will directly expand supply of reliable grid electricity for up to 8,000 households in Svay Rieng province.
Given that cooking accounts for as much as 90% of energy needs in many Cambodian households, the program will also work with retailers, mostly women, to help sell 90,000 improved, energy efficient cook stoves.
Recently completed initiatives
Southern Coastal Corridor Cambodia
$10.3 million, 2007-2015
The Southern Coastal Corridor Cambodia initiative, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, upgraded the southern coastal road corridor from Kampong Trach to the Cambodia/Vietnam border, and the border post at Preak Chak. Australian funding financed consulting services including programs on HIV awareness and prevention, and mitigating social and environmental impacts.
All project works, including construction of the new 15km road, the agreed road maintenance contracts, and the works at the cross-border facility, are now complete. The original scope of the HIV and Trafficking Awareness and Prevention program has been fully met, with 800 people (of which 70 per cent were women) benefiting. While economic impacts are not due to be assessed until 2020, early evidence suggests the project has helped significantly grow trade volumes between Cambodia and Vietnam, and promote private sector growth along the route.
Rehabilitation of Railway in Cambodia Project
$27.1 million, 2009-2015
Australia’s support for the Asian Development Bank’s US$143 million project to upgrade the national railway of Cambodia came to an end in 2015.
Regular freight services by rail are now operating between Phnom Penh and the seaport at Sihanoukville. In recognition of challenges associated with resettlement, Australia agreed that implementation of the Expanded Income Restoration Program under the project be allowed to continue until December 2014.