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In the early years of the 21st Century

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CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Cambodia in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** Extreme Weather ***

Cambodia is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Extreme weather events will occur more frequently, including floods and heatwaves. The temperature has increased since the 1960s by 0.18 °C per decade. Cambodia is prone to extreme weather events, especially floods, droughts and typhoons. Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and intensity of such events.  Microsoft BING Copilot

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - Cambodia

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 21 December 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 5 January 2021]

Cambodia has experienced strong economic growth over the last decade; GDP grew at an average annual rate of over 8% between 2000 and 2010 and about 7% since 2011. The tourism, garment, construction and real estate, and agriculture sectors accounted for the bulk of growth. Around 700,000 people, the majority of whom are women, are employed in the garment and footwear sector. An additional 500,000 Cambodians are employed in the tourism sector, and a further 200,000 people in construction. Tourism has continued to grow rapidly with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year in 2007 and reaching 5.6 million visitors in 2017. Mining also is attracting some investor interest and the government has touted opportunities for mining bauxite, gold, iron and gems.

Still, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia, and long-term economic development remains a daunting challenge, inhibited by corruption, limited human resources, high income inequality, and poor job prospects. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the percentage of the population living in poverty decreased to 13.5% in 2016. More than 50% of the population is less than 25 years old. The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the impoverished countryside, which also lacks basic infrastructure

GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,000 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 48.7%

industry: 19.7%

services: 31.5% (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate: 0.3% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 16.5% (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 160 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 43.7 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 65.9 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 80.3% of population

Physicians density: 0.19 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 65.7% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 49.8% (2016)

The Borgen Project - Cambodia

[accessed 24 January 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Mitigating Floods In Southeast Asia

~ Alleviating Child Poverty In Cambodia

~ Women Leaders In Cambodia Fight Against Poverty

~ From Bombs To Bangles: Jewelry Rebuilds Economy In Cambodia

~ Cricket Farming In Cambodia

~ Disability And Poverty In Cambodia

~ 4 Countries Helped By The Asian Development Bank

COVID-19 Slowing Cambodia’s Fight Against Hunger

Athira Nortajuddin, The Asean Post, 9 February 2021

[accessed 9 February 2021]

Hunger is an issue that has long plagued a number of countries in Southeast Asia. Cambodia, a developing country between Thailand and Vietnam, remains one of the poorest nations in the region.

But, in recent years, Cambodia has made notable progress towards improving citizens’ nutrition.

Despite the progress, a 2018 World Vision report noted that the number of Cambodian children under five suffering from malnutrition has remained high with 32 percent of them showing signs of stunting, 24 percent being underweight and 10 percent being wasted.

In the “Ending Malnutrition in Cambodia Is Possible” report, the organisation cited diarrhoea as a result of poor sanitation in households and the community as the primary cause of malnutrition in the kingdom. When children experience repeated bouts of diarrhoea accompanied by food that has low nutritional value, they can become chronically malnourished.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic which has severely affected livelihoods across the globe, the problem of malnutrition in Cambodia appears grimmer.

Health and Nutrition

UNICEF Country Programme 2019–2023

Click [here] to download the report

[accessed 9 February 2021]

Major causes of child and maternal deaths include a lack of adequate, affordable and accessible health services, poor quality services, poor hygiene, a lack of skilled health staff, and harmful traditional practices.

Lagging behind all other social indicators, malnutrition rates for children under 5 years are among the highest in the region, with 32 per cent of children being stunted (too short for their age) and 10 per cent being wasted (too thin for their height) (CDHS 2014).

Sub-optimal feeding practices, poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), poverty and a mother’s lack of education are the main causes of child undernutrition, which is one of the most significant obstacles to human development. There is disparity here, as 42 per cent of the poorest girls and boys are stunted, compared to 19 per cent of the wealthiest. Breastfeeding is declining and appropriate feeding across age groups remains limited. This has health consequences ranging from undernutrition to children being overweight, which is new to Cambodia. Iodine intake and anaemia also require particular attention.

Action Against Hunger - Cambodia

[accessed 21 March 2021]

Despite economic growth, a significant portion of the Cambodian population lives close to the poverty line. Undernutrition remains a major public health concern; 32% of children under five suffer from stunting, 24% are underweight, 10% are acutely malnourished, and micronutrient deficiencies are widespread.

Cambodia is also highly vulnerable to natural disasters, with regular monsoon flooding and localized droughts. Limited and unequal access to education and health services and low investment in public infrastructure further perpetuate food insecurity and undernutrition.

The World Bank in Cambodia

[accessed 18 April 2021]

The World Bank’s engagement in Cambodia focuses on investing in human capital, tackling rural poverty, building basic infrastructure, and empowering communities.

Looking back a few years

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 9 February 2021]

When the PRK government took over in 1979, it was faced with a major challenge in restoring the national economy. The first problem was to end the threat of famine. A massive international campaign to feed the population took place during 1979–82.

In July 1986, the PRK issued an emergency appeal to international organizations for rice.

Rule by the Khmer Rouge, 20 years of civil war, economic isolation, and a centrally planned economy imposed heavy burdens on Cambodia. Serious damage to basic infrastructure, industrial and agricultural production, and human resources required massive rehabilitation and reconstruction. Market-oriented reforms have been introduced which dismantle the centrally planned economy.

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