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The National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) 2014-2018 was identified a priority the development of rural infrastructures, particularly an irrigation infrastructures and the formulation of a Strategy on Agriculture and Water which specifically focus on the enhancement of the agriculture sector (diversification, value-added, and productivity).The need for rehabilitation and upgrading of the existing irrigation and drainage system is roughly estimated at 700,000 ha in Cambodia (equivalent to roughly 65% of irrigation schemes registered in CISIS data base).

Since the mid 90’s, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has contributed to the water management and sustainable irrigation development in Cambodia.

With this regard, the AFD has discussed with MoWRAM and with the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) for the possibility of financing the irrigation sector which aims to improve an integrated water resources management as well as the irrigation system management in Cambodia. Therefore, the “Water Resource Management and Agro-Ecological Transition in Cambodia (WAT4CAM)” programme was established and stated in 2018. 

The WAT4CAM program is financed by the AFD and from the European Commission. The European Commission has proposed to entrust part of its financial contribution to AFD, which has agreed to manage the financing under a delegation agreement. The AFD loan (credit facility agreement) was signed on 16th November 2018. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC), represented by the MEF, is the borrower of the AFD loan; The RGC is the recipient and contracting authority for both the AFD loan and the EU grant.

TheWAT4CAMprogrammePhase-1 comprises four program components, as defined in the AFD project documents, of which two include physical implementation: