$2.45m ADB aid for Thailand
Boost to water/flood, railroad management
The Asian Development Bank is providing two technical assistance grants to facilitate water and flood management and also railroad accounting and financial management.
"Integrated water-resources management based on river basins is essential for a participatory and inclusive management model," Craig Steffensen, country director of the ADB, said yesterday.
"Assisting the State Railway of Thailand to better its accounting and financial information systems will help improve railway operations."
A $1.5-million (Bt45 million) grant will help develop guidelines, checklists and information management systems for monitoring and evaluating the implementation and impact of flood management in Thailand.
A $950,000 Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) grant will help improve railway performance and enhance the country's economic competitiveness.
In line with the Master Plan for Water Resources Management, the Strengthening Integrated Water and Flood Management Implementation project team will develop frameworks for water assessments and system analysis, as well as update existing studies in the Yom River basin.
The technical support will also develop innovative approaches for stakeholder consultation and participation. It will be implemented over a two-year period with the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) as the executing agency.
The government aims to increase the share of rail in freight transport from 2 per cent to 8 per cent by 2020. Its strong commitment to reforming the rail system is evident in its pledge to provide significant financial resources to modernise and improve rail operations, with investments of up to B176 billion committed from 2010-15, the ADB said.
Thailand also wishes to reinvigorate its rail network and services to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and road freight and to lower greenhouse-gas emissions.
The grants, launched yesterday by the ADB, the Thai Finance Ministry and the Japanese Embassy, will be funded by the JFPR and administered by the ADB.
The Manila-based ADB is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region.
Areepong Bucha-oom, permanent secretary of the Finance Ministry, said the NESDB was expected to complete in April the details for bidding on the Bt350-billion water-management project and the Public Debt Management Office to complete in June the fund-raising for the project.