World Bank Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Manuela V. Ferro appreciated Cambodia’s effective COVID-19 response and encouraged the country to boost investments in education while jump starting economic recovery during her country visit between March 13 and 17.
As part of the visit, Ms. Ferro met with Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, Permanent Secretary of State H.E. Vongsey Vissoth, Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol, and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction Chea Sophara.
“Cambodia is still experiencing the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the economy, which is also being affected by high oil and food prices. With high vaccination rates, testing, and reopening, the country is well positioned to jump start a strong economic recovery.” said Ferro. “The World Bank is supporting Cambodia on education and health services, economic reforms to increase investment and create new jobs, and increase access and quality of public services.”
In meetings with officials and the private sector, Ferro welcomed Cambodia’s effective management of the COVID pandemic and its economic recovery program. She noted that the recovery is an opportunity to forge a new growth path – through reforms that would boost the productivity of firms and workers, increase and diversify investments and exports.
Ferro also visited several projects that have received World Bank support. She observed classes and laboratories at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, which is working with international university partners to upgrade engineering programs at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. She also spoke with teachers, parents, and students at Tuol Prasat Sen Sok Secondary School, where efforts to improve school operations and student learning outcomes are resulting in lower drop out rates and better student performance and learning outcomes.
At Sok Senchy village, Peam Commune, and Ksach Sor village in Kraing Lavea Commune, Kampong Chhnang Province, Ferro spoke to local officials and residents who have received land titles and benefitted from roads, water, sanitation, and other support for agriculture-based livelihoods.
The World Bank portfolio in Cambodia currently comprises over US$1.1 billion in net commitments.