Over the past decade, Cambodia has experienced a phenomenal decline in poverty: the total number of poor fell from 7million in 2004, to just 3 million in 2011, a decline of more than 50 percent. This performance makes Cambodia one of the best performers in poverty reduction worldwide in recent years. But despite this success, most families have only been lifted out of poverty by a small margin, and instead of being poor are now near-poor. As such, they risk falling back into poverty at the slightest income shock. An average loss of just US$0.30 in income per day would push 3 million near-poor Cambodians back into poverty, doubling the country’s current poverty rate from 20.5 percent to about 40 percent. Going forward, it would be desirable if Cambodia could consider three key priorities: (i) improved access to and quality of basic rural infrastructure and strengthened agricultural diversification; (ii) continued investment in human development; and (iii) implementing an enhanced social protection system.

About the Presenters

World Bank Cambodia Office