Cambodia’s poverty rate dropping rapidly

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Phom Penh_Arno Maierbrugger
Traffic in Phom Penh © Arno Maierbrugger

The United Nations hailed Cambodia for its accomplishments in meeting its Millennium Development Goal targets in 2015. In a recent report, the UN calls Cambodia an “early achiever” performing “particularly well” on poverty alleviation.

As the Cambodian economy grew on average 7.8 per cent annually from 2004 to 2014, achieving one of the fastest growth rates in the world during this period, some five million people were lifted out of poverty in the period. Cambodia’s poverty rate had been reduced to 14 per cent, down from 53.2 per cent in 2004. At the same time, an increasing number of Cambodians are entering the middle class. In 2016, Cambodia’s economic status will be elevated to the level of a lower-middle income country and the nation will be leaving the league of developing countries.

It is the government’s ambition to transform Cambodia into a middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.

Cambodia is expected to sustain its growth into 2016 thanks to low oil prices and increased exports, in particular to the members of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). However, for Cambodia to benefit from opportunities offered by the AEC, sustained efforts are needed to put a halt to economic crime, government corruption and commercial tax evasion. Currently the country is losing billions to illicit financial outflows and money laundering across international borders.

Since 1990, Cambodia has been a major benefactor of global aid, with annual receipts increasing from $300 million in 1993 to more than $800 million dollars by 2012. While two decades of aid significantly contributed to the country’s development, the constant inflow of aid money also fuels Cambodia’s persistent problems, including corruption, weak institutions, poor governance, a donor-dependent aid industry absorbing a skilled workforce and a mindset of aid entitlement. Thus, the UN strongly recommends that the flow of aid has to be reduced and the respective mindset has to be changed if Cambodia wants to stand on its own feet in the future.

Cambodia Tonle Sap_Arno Maierbrugger
Boats on the Tonle Sap river © Arno Maierbrugger

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Traffic in Phom Penh © Arno Maierbrugger

The United Nations hailed Cambodia for its accomplishments in meeting its Millennium Development Goal targets in 2015. In a recent report, the UN calls Cambodia an “early achiever” performing “particularly well” on poverty alleviation.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Phom Penh_Arno Maierbrugger
Traffic in Phom Penh © Arno Maierbrugger

The United Nations hailed Cambodia for its accomplishments in meeting its Millennium Development Goal targets in 2015. In a recent report, the UN calls Cambodia an “early achiever” performing “particularly well” on poverty alleviation.

As the Cambodian economy grew on average 7.8 per cent annually from 2004 to 2014, achieving one of the fastest growth rates in the world during this period, some five million people were lifted out of poverty in the period. Cambodia’s poverty rate had been reduced to 14 per cent, down from 53.2 per cent in 2004. At the same time, an increasing number of Cambodians are entering the middle class. In 2016, Cambodia’s economic status will be elevated to the level of a lower-middle income country and the nation will be leaving the league of developing countries.

It is the government’s ambition to transform Cambodia into a middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.

Cambodia is expected to sustain its growth into 2016 thanks to low oil prices and increased exports, in particular to the members of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). However, for Cambodia to benefit from opportunities offered by the AEC, sustained efforts are needed to put a halt to economic crime, government corruption and commercial tax evasion. Currently the country is losing billions to illicit financial outflows and money laundering across international borders.

Since 1990, Cambodia has been a major benefactor of global aid, with annual receipts increasing from $300 million in 1993 to more than $800 million dollars by 2012. While two decades of aid significantly contributed to the country’s development, the constant inflow of aid money also fuels Cambodia’s persistent problems, including corruption, weak institutions, poor governance, a donor-dependent aid industry absorbing a skilled workforce and a mindset of aid entitlement. Thus, the UN strongly recommends that the flow of aid has to be reduced and the respective mindset has to be changed if Cambodia wants to stand on its own feet in the future.

Cambodia Tonle Sap_Arno Maierbrugger
Boats on the Tonle Sap river © Arno Maierbrugger

 

 

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