Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ADB to help resolve Cambodia rail resettlement concerns

July 5, 2011

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its development partners, including the Government of Cambodia, have agreed to a detailed and time bound action plan to resolve resettlement problems on a Cambodia railway rehabilitation project, ADB said Monday.

ADB and the Government of Australia are providing over 100 million U.S. dollars to help rehabilitate Cambodia's national railroad stretching from Sihanoukville in the south, through the capital Phnom Penh and up to the northern border with Thailand. Hundreds of families are being asked to move to make way for the line upgrading.

Officials from ADB, the Australian Agency for International Development and the Government reviewed the progress of resettlement and concerns raised by the affected households in early June. They have now drawn up an agreement that sets out specific, tangible measures to be taken to address each of the concerns.

Decades of conflict have left the railway in serious disrepair and by upgrading it into an international standard line the project will help lower freight costs, including for staple foodstuffs for the poor, as well as providing new investment and business opportunities. It will also form an integral section of the Greater Mekong Subregion's southern economic corridor linking Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and make up part of a broader Pan- Asian rail route.

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