The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing emergency humanitarian assistance of 3 million USD to help Cambodia recover from devastating floods that have affected 1.7 million people and caused an estimated 1 billion USD in damage.

The grant from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Facility (APDRF) will be used to provide rice seeds, make temporary repairs to irrigation canals and related facilities, and rapidly restore connectivity of damaged rural roads.

Eric Sidgwick, ADB’s Cambodia Country Director, said that ADB’s support is a direct response to the need for action on quick road repairs to ensure the smooth delivery of relief supplies and the provision of rice seeds to enable replanting before waters recede.

Estimates suggest at least 440 km of national roads and 3,693 km of rural roads have been affected by the floods, which began in September. More than 240,000 hectares of transplanted rice or seedlings have been affected and large numbers of schools and hospitals severely damaged.

The impact of the flood is expected to be more extensive than that experienced after floods in 2000 and 2011, since the period of inundation has been prolonged, hampering initial efforts to mitigate destruction. In some areas, waters still have not receded, making damage assessments difficult.

Cambodia received a 3 million USD grant from the APD RF after flooding in 2011, which was used to help rebuild critical infrastructure such as roads, culverts and bridges, allowing survivors to be reconnected and livelihoods to be restored, according to ADB.-VNA