Six projects worth $361.4 million have been signed in order to boost science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and other sextors in Cambodia.
On December 22, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Economy and Finance signed loan and grant agreements for six projects totaling $361.4 million to improve STEM education.
Additionally, it aims to expand trade and competitiveness, increase healthcare coverage along border regions, accelerate the nation's clean energy transition, and promote climate-smart livestock and marine fisheries production.
It was signed by Aun Pornmoniroth, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy and Finance, and Jyotsana Varma, ADB Country Director for Cambodia, at an official ceremony in Phnom Penh.
Jyotsana Varma, ADB Country Director for Cambodia, said that the projects will assist many aspects of Cambodia's socioeconomic growth in accordance with the government's Rectangular Strategy IV.
“These projects will strengthen Cambodia’s health and education systems to boost human capital, address climate change through both mitigation and adaptation solutions, and enhance the country’s competitiveness,” he said.
With the recently signed agreements, the ADB has committed a total of $576.3 million in loans and grants to Cambodia this year, of which $163.7 million is co-financed by other development partners.
The goal of the six initiatives
Cambodia Science and Technology Project in Upper Secondary Education, worth $70 million, will assist Cambodia in developing high-quality human resources, particularly in the STEM area, as the nation strives to become a knowledge-based and technology-driven economy.
Moreover, the initiative intends to push for high enrollment in new-generation schools, particularly for females, and strives to improve the efficacy of upper secondary education.
Cambodia Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Border Areas Health Project, worth $32.5 million, will increase access to health care for thousands of migrant workers who are at risk for communitarian health risks, as well as for residents in border areas.
In addition, the initiative will test a low-cost migrant health insurance program and increase the use of outpatient services at Poipet Referral Hospital.
Energy Transition Sector Development Program includes Policy Reforms and Project investments, worth $73 million, will mutually support maximizing gains and pave the way for public and private sector investments in critical new technologies such as energy efficiency and storage.
Further, the initiative will establish sustainable energy goals for the nation and incorporate better power production and energy usage planning across sectors, including climate-proofing critical infrastructure.
Trade and Competitiveness Program, worth $50 million, will support government efforts in Cambodia’s post-pandemic economic recovery to reform the investment and business environment, foster the growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and improve trade policy and trade facilitation.
A further benefit of the scheme is that it will support 50,000 new small and medium-sized businesses registered with the Online Business Registry.
The GMS Cross-Border Livestock Health and Value Chains Improvement Project, worth $62.9 million, will support climate-smart livestock production and improve sustainability along the livestock value chain.
With neighboring nations, the initiative seeks to promote formal regional commerce in cattle and animal products.
Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries Project, worth $73 million, will target four coastal provinces in Cambodia to reverse the significant drop in fisheries, promote sustainable mariculture, and improve fish landing sites to improve seafood safety.
Besides that, the initiative is anticipated to enhance revenues for a coastal community of around 200,000 people and regenerate roughly 40 percent of the nearshore fisheries into a more productive and sustainable business.