inland and the AsianDevelopment Bank (ADB) have built a solidcofinancing relationship thathas found significant commonground in reducing poverty,protecting the environment, andreforming education.Acting mainly through itsMinistry for Foreign Affairs,Finland has helped finance ADBprojects to reduce poverty aroundnorthwest Cambodia’s TonleSap region, for example. It hascommitted to the ADB-managedCore Environment Programand Biodiversity ConservationCorridors Initiative, supportedclean energy projects, andcommitted funding to ADB’sCarbon Market Program. It isalso among the supporters of an effort in Nepal to extend along-term series of importanteducational reforms.Such initiatives addressFinland’s development priorities,including the prevention of crisisand support for peace-building,the rights and the status of women and girls, and genderand social equality. Finlandalso focuses support where itfeels that it can contribute itssignificant sector expertise, suchas in energy, agriculture and ruraldevelopment, forestry, water andsanitation, and environment.Finland’s developmentpriorities provide significantoverlap with ADB’s operationalgoals under Strategy 2020, which identifies the core areasof infrastructure, environment,finance sector development,regional cooperation andintegration, and education asdevelopment priorities.
See pages 8–9 for priority countriesin Asia and highlights of assistance.See tables, pages 10–11, forcofinancing with ADB..
Poverty in the Tonle Sap
Finland has been involved inseveral efforts under ADB’s TonleSap Initiative of 2003 to help thecountry reduce poverty in theprimarily agricultural Tonle SapBasin, which holds more than 30%of the population.The basin is a seasonalextension of the Mekong River inthe northwest and known as its“great lake.” Weak infrastructure,low productivity, poor access tomarkets, and poorly developedrural financial services restrictincome opportunities. Ruralpoverty is high, with aboutone-third of households lackingsufficient food during partsof the year. High populationgrowth strains the basin’snatural resources, whilefisheries and wildlife resourcesare overexploited.The Tonle Sap Initiative was launched in 2002 to helpthe government coordinate