Australia’s Chargé d’Affaires Mr Luke Arnold met H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister at the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MISTI) to advance bilateral collaboration on access to clean piped water in Cambodia’s provinces. Mr Arnold presented the findings of a cutting-edge analysis on provincial water networks to Senior Minister Cham Prasidh. The Provincial Investment Plan (PIP) Study shows that, while only 47% of all villages in Cambodia were connected to a piped water network in 2020, this figure can be rapidly increased through targeted public-private partnerships to increase private sector investment and innovation in treated piped water supply.

“Given the direct impact that access to clean piped water has on people’s health and livelihoods, Australia will continue to work closely with the Royal Government of Cambodia to further develop Cambodia’s water sector,” said Mr Arnold. “This landmark study highlights key opportunities for expanding this access, including through innovative public-private partnerships.”
Mr Arnold further explained that the Australian Embassy’s contribution to Cambodia’s piped water network was consistent with Australia’s broader approach to infrastructure development in Cambodia, including a prioritisation of initiatives that are financed sustainably and that deliver real benefits for Cambodian households.

H.E Cham Prasidh said during the event that “the target of the government is to provide 100% clean water to urban areas by 2025, and universal access to all Cambodians by 2030. With the database 3i has developed with my Directorate General of Water Supply, we believe that we are on the right track. I would like to thank Australia for all the assistance they have provided.” Australia and MISTI commissioned the PIP Study through Australia’s AU$49 million flagship Investing in Infrastructure (3i) Program in Cambodia. The Study assessed the coverage of piped water supply across 22 Cambodian provinces, calculating the investment costs to bring piped treated water to all unconnected villages.

Through 3i, Australia has provided more than AU$19.8m in investment subsidies to nearly 80 private water operators to establish and expand treated piped water supply to rural households in Cambodia. Once completed, the program will enable more than one million Cambodian people to access clean piped clean water.

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