ADB publishes information about the Expanded Income Restoration Program

The ADB has published 8 points of information about the much-delayed and largely opaque Expanded Income Restoration Program (EIRP) for households at railways relocation sites. The program, funded by the AusAID, is based on the principle of getting the relocated households to help themselves through joining savings groups. It is administered by the little known groups SBK and Envisioning, selected by the government, whose initial income restoration plans were deemed unsuccessful and prompted the Australians to grant an addition US$960,000 for income-restoration under the railways project. Households who join savings groups (joining is compulsory for accessing any benefits) get access to loans of US$450 from a Community Development Fund, and US$250 as a grant from the Social Safety Net Fund. Given that the ADB estimates the number of households at relocation sites being 1,105, this means that around US$773,500 of the funds granted by AusAID will likely go affected households, with the ADB, SBK, and Envisioning presumably pocketing the rest. Many relocated families have complained about the lack of jobs and other income-generating opportunities at the relocation sites, with many households particularly in Phnom Penh wondering how they are meant to save on a regular basis, when they are facing high debt levels as a result of inadequate compensation and lack of employment opportunities following relocation under the project. To read the 8 point published by the ADB, click here.