EU Grants US$14 Million for Phnom Penh’s Clean Water Facility Project

AKP Phnom Penh, May 19, 2020 —

The European Investment Bank (EIB) secured a EUR 12.7 million (approximately US$13.9 million) grant from the European Union for the construction of the Bakheng Water Treatment Plant and 500 kilometres of water distribution network in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

The infrastructure will bring safe, drinking water and improve quality of living for 700,000 people from some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city, according to a press release issued on May 18.

It is a long term investment in the country`s resilience to pandemic such as COVID-19 as it provides steady access to clean drinking water, critical for effective crisis mitigation, the bank said.

The EU grant will expand the water distribution network to the poorest areas of the city. It complements an earlier EUR 185 million investment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

Blending of the EIB, the AFD and the EU financing will provide treated potable water to the fast-expanding Phnom Penh, where the demand for piped water is expected to nearly double from current needs by 2030.

Around 86,000 households, in some of the poorest neighbourhoods in Phnom Penh, will gain access to the city`s piped water for the first time ever, and help reduce certain types of diseases by as much as 26 percent.

The project will have a positive economic effect on the poorest households as it will reduce daily expenditure for bottled drinking water. Today, close to 70 percent of the Cambodians do not have access to piped water supply, including 28 percent of people living in Phnom Penh, stated the bank.

Andrew McDowell, the Vice President of the EIB, said that the grant will significantly improve the quality of living for thousands of people in the city.

“This project testifies the power of European cooperation and solidarity with Cambodia and its people. Our support and cooperation with the Royal Government of Cambodia is empowering us to look forward to further partnership and EIB support in the country to contribute to a sustainable development of Cambodia,” Mr. McDowell said in the press release.

H.E. Hem Vanndy, Cambodia’s Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Finance said that the Royal Government of Cambodia welcomes the contribution from the European partners as it will have a major impact on the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Cambodians.

“The projects we implement with the EU and the EIB like Bakheng Water and SAAMBAT [Sustainable Assets for Agriculture Markets, Business and Trade project] are important for Cambodia, as they support our sustainable development and growth. We look forward to expanding this cooperation for the benefit of the people of Cambodia and its economy,” H.E. Hem Vanndy said.

By Chea Vannak