ADB Official Here To Assess Poverty, Floods help pull Cambodia out of poverty

The president of the Asian Development Bank arrived in Cambodia Thursday to meet with government officials, tour flood-damaged areas and Siem Reap, and discuss an emergency rehabilitation loan.

Tadao Chino, a former Japan­ese government official who helped create the ADB in 1966, has served as the bank’s president since January 1999. His first visit to Cambodia comes on the heels of a week in Vietnam.

In both countries his itinerary includes meetings with government officials, NGOs, and visits to ADB-funded projects and flooded areas. Aides said his goals in­clude urging leaders of both countries to continue reforms and to cooperate more closely.

Earlier this month, responding to a request from Cambodian officials, ADB officials toured flooded areas in Cambodia to assess damage. Initial ADB estimates were that emergency repairs would cost between $30 million and $35 million. But that figure could change after a second assessment is made in several weeks. ADB officials said the bank would not provide the entire amount, but would work with international organizations to coordinate finan­cing with aid efforts.

The ADB president is scheduled to meet with King Norodom Sihanouk, Prime Minister Hun Sen, Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Finance Minister Keat Chhon.

He also plans to sign a $16-million loan agreement for an irrigation and roads project in Kom­pong Thom province.

Tadao Chino plans to meet today with government officials and NGOs before flying to Siem Reap Saturday for a tour of the ADB-financed project at the Siem Reap Airport and a visit to the Angkorean temples. He is to fly from Siem Reap to Bangkok Sunday morning.




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