Phnom Penh (VNA) – The World Bank (WB) on May 20 approved a new loan of 130 million USD to Cambodia, ending a five-year freeze in lending to the kingdom.

According to the bank’s recent announcement, its board of executive directors has approved financing for four projects to provide many communities across Cambodia with better roads, sustainable sources of water, improved livelihoods from agriculture and increased access to health care

The four projects will be financed by preferential credit from the International Development Association. Repayments will be done between 25-40 years, including a grace period of five to ten years.

WB Country Director for Southeast Asia Ulrich Zachau said the bank’s new commitment starts with projects aimed to bring practical benefits to Cambodians such as reducing the cost of health care, improving roads and supporting poor villagers who depend on agriculture and fishing.

He added the bank will continue its close partnership with the county to share international experience in strengthening institutions and improving governance.

Meanwhile, the World Bank's Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific Victoroia Kwakwa said Cambodia's economic performance has been impressive in the last decade with an average growth rate of more than seven percent per year and the extreme poverty rate falling from 52 percent in 2004 to 17 percent in 2012.

She noted the bank is looking forward to working actively with Cambodia in its efforts to improve the economic and social conditions of all its nationals, lifting millions more out of poverty and addressing the continued vulnerability of formerly poor Cambodians.

The bank had frozen new lending to Cambodia since 2011, a response to the mass evictions by the authorities of residents living in and around the Boeung Kak lake in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.-VNA