Cambodia's economy is highly dependent on water. It is important for food production, rural livelihoods and economic development. Rainfall distribution and river discharges in Cambodia, however, are highly seasonal, variable and unpredictable, with a natural pattern of wet and dry seasons, typhoons, floods and droughts. Coupled with this, the annual rise and fall of the Mekong River has both positive and negative effects - sustaining the critical water cycles of the Tonle Sap Lake and Lower Mekong delta necessary for agriculture and fisheries production, but with the potential to cause major flooding and damage to infrastructure and crops, and loss of life. It is anticipated that climate change will increase the challenges of water management; less rainfall is anticipated during the dry season and more during the wet season, with more frequent extreme weather events and potentially worse seasonal water shortages and floods.
The project therefore seeks to:
The project applies ADB's policy on gender and development, which adopts gender mainstreaming as a key strategy for promoting gender equity, and for ensuring that women participate in and that their needs are explicitly addressed in the decision-making process for development activities.
The project also aims to improve the standards of living of the displaced poor and other vulnerable groups, including women, to at least national minimum standards. In rural areas, it seeks to provide them with legal and affordable access to land and resources, and in urban areas, provide them with appropriate income sources and legal and affordable access to adequate housing.