Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian poverty rate rises to 17% due to Covid pandemic

Cambodian poverty rate rises to 17% due to Covid pandemic

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman pulls her cart filled with recyclable materials in Meanchey district of Phnom Penh in April, 2020. Hong Menea

Cambodian poverty rate rises to 17% due to Covid pandemic

The Cambodian poverty rate has increased by four per cent in six years to 17 per cent in the 2019-2020 period, due in large part to the global Covid-19 crisis, a Ministry of Planning official has revealed.

Ministry secretary of state Tuon Thavoreak shared the findings at the launch of the National Population Policy 2016-2030’s special focus on people and education at Siem Reap Provincial Hall on April 19.

The Siem Reap provincial Department of Information quoted Thavoreak as saying that Cambodia’s poverty rate had dropped significantly - from 47 per cent in 2007 to 22 per cent in 2009 – and had continued to fall to 13 per cent in 2014, pushing Cambodia to become an average income country in 2015.

“However, a socio-economic investigation of data from 2019-2020 [reveals that] the poverty rate has increased to 17.8 per cent, which is largely due to the increase in poverty as a result of the global epidemic of Covid-19,” Thavoreak said.

The government has said that it has been promoting the implementation of the policy in several ways, including spreading awareness to stakeholders about the government’s vision, strategy, national policy plan and sustainable development goals.

Thavoreak was quoted as saying that the development of human capital is also an important factor and the key to expanding the economy and development in “all areas”, and that focus on investing in education, health and welfare - with a focus on youth and women - is what can help Cambodia increase its global competitiveness.

He said education is important for individuals and a resource for national development, an inalienable right, and enables the development of human capacity in ways that would eliminate economic, social, cultural, family, individual, legal and political inequalities, and contribute to poverty reduction.

He also articulated his belief that the education sector was a priority of the government, which is planning to develop human resources in response to changes in the agriculture, industrial and service sectors.

Yong Kim Eng, president of the NGO People’s Centre for Development and Peace (PDP), said the “indisputable issue” leading to the increase in Cambodia’s poverty rate was Covid-19, a major challenge that saw restrictions applied by the international community - especially Europe - on the Kingdom’s textile and agriculture sectors. He said it was a “contributing factor” for the increase in poverty.

“At the same time, we see that the inflation rate of commodities is so high that it makes it easier for people living near the poverty line to fall into poverty,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the