Cambodia’s Health Sector Receives $113m Cash Boost

The World Bank has approved multi-million-dollar financing to improve the nation’s health care, with a focus on supporting the poor and vulnerable.
People leave Khmer - Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh. Picture: Sam
People leave Khmer - Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh. Picture: Sam

The World Bank has approved $113 million to improve access to quality health care in Cambodia that will particularly benefit poor and vulnerable people and support effective responses to health crises.

The move was announced on Friday, with the financing forming the second phase of the Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project (HEQIP-2). This aims to advance universal health coverage in the country. The first phase ran from 2016 to 2022, the bank said.

“As an important step toward the goal of achieving universal health coverage by 2030, Cambodia is creating a universal health insurance structure. The new financing will expand support for the Health Equity Fund to cover health services costs for the poor and improve use of services by increasing awareness, reducing barriers, and enhancing the health information system,” World Bank said in a statement.

“While Cambodia has made progress in delivering health care to its people, more equitable access to quality health care remains an important goal,” said World Bank Country Manager for Cambodia, Maryam Salim. “This project will help Cambodia achieve that objective by expanding access for the poor and vulnerable.”

The World Bank said the project will support the rollout of national accreditation standards, expand service delivery grants and implement performance-based financing. The project also aims to scale up non-communicable disease services for public health facilities across the country.

The Bank said the new funding represents a long-standing relationship among partners and includes $55 million credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association and grants totaling $58 million from Australia, the German Development Bank, South Korea and the Global Financing Facility. Cambodia will provide $186 million in counterpart financing.