Team Europe continues to Invest  €15 Million EU gran in Rural Cambodian Development

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s bank, has received a €15 million grant from the EU to help speed the Sustainable Assets for Agriculture Markets, Business, and Trade (SAAMBAT) project’s implementation. The award includes €1.5 million for technical help in project preparation, which will be critical to the project’s faster implementation. 

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the Royal Government of Cambodia have joined forces to invest €105 million in SAAMBAT. It aims to raise living conditions and make conducting business easier for approximately 200 000 rural Cambodian families by building a year-round road network, better rural infrastructure, and a consistent food supply. 

The EIB initially contributed €51.5 million in the project, with an extra €13.7 million provided by Team Europe to help Cambodia recover more quickly from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cambodia will develop 650 km of paved road and 150 km of gravel road, as well as rehabilitate 50 rural market places and roughly 25 additional value chain logistics facilities, thanks to investments and grants from Team Europe and IFAD, as well as monies from the Royal Government (ferry landings, produce collection points, etc.) 

The SAAMBAT project will fund improvements in road infrastructure, road safety, and the country’s natural disaster resilience, as well as the development of vital rural infrastructure including local markets. These are critical in Cambodia, where inadequate infrastructure causes seasonal food shortages for two-thirds of rural people every year. 

In addition, the initiative will create up to 4500 employment and 500 new small and medium-sized businesses, as well as train 25 000 Cambodians to use digital technologies to better their businesses and increase trade. 

The creation of business and job opportunities for rural kids will be prioritised. 

Long-term, SAAMBAT will promote Cambodia’s integration into the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and cooperation with ASEAN partners, as well as the EU-Asian Connectivity Strategy. 

The project will be funded by an IFAD loan of $53.3 million and a grant of $1.2 million, an EIB loan of €65.2 million, and a $12.41 million contribution from the Royal Government of Cambodia.