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Cambodia’s loss of LDC status will bring challenges: World Bank

Employees leave a garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district after work.

As Cambodia continues its upward trajectory towards becoming a lower-middle-income country, it will face even greater challenges in reducing high levels of poverty as the Kingdom loses its preferential trade privileges and donor funding dries up, according to a new World Bank report. The World Bank’s Systematic Country Diagnostic, presented yesterday in Phnom Penh, stated that while Cambodia has made large strides in reducing poverty over the last two decades, it cannot rely on the same agricultural and low-cost labour base to assist its reduction of poverty rates in the future.

UN envoy meets with NEC

United Nations Special Rapporteur Rhona Smith (right) sits across from NEC Chairman Sik Bun Hok in a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.

The National Election Committee (NEC) yesterday told United Nations Special Rapporteur Rhona Smith that election monitoring coalition the “Situation Room” will have to register with the Interior Ministry if it wants to deploy observers for next year’s elections – despite there being no such requirement in the NGO Law. The special rapporteur met with NEC Chairman Sik Bun Hok yesterday as part of her 10-day visit to the Kingdom, raising the issue of the targeting of the election monitoring group following the commune elections, as well as the registration of migrant workers. Following the meeting, NEC spokesman Hang Puthea ...

Creating an avenue for Cambodian urban art

Tony Francis in front of a piece by urban artist FONKI (left) and Bryan Beyung (right).

For years, Cambodia’s urban arts scene has been slowly percolating – and it has been doing so without the help of Tony Francis. With established artists like FONKI, Chifumi, Peap Tarr and Theo Vallier – all either Cambodians or foreigners with close ties to the Kingdom – urban art has become more and more visible, on city walls, on clothes and in schools and restaurants. But Francis, a lanky 38-year-old London native who moved to Cambodia two years ago after five years in Thailand, thinks now is the time for it to move to the next level. That is why he has set up Kbach Gallery – a high-end showroom of the work of international and Cambodian urban artists targeting major art markets ...

Montagnard asylum seeker set to be forcibly deported

A Montagnard asylum seeker steps into a police vehicle yesterday as immigration police officials organise his deportation.

Immigration police are preparing to forcibly deport a Montagnard asylum seeker, who was yesterday taken away by officers from the Phnom Penh guesthouse where an estimated 38 members of the ethnic minority are now left to await their fate. The man, an ethnic Ede in his late 30s, was collected in a van by officials from the General Department of Immigration yesterday afternoon, according to photos obtained by The Post. Uk Hai Seila, head of investigations at the department, confirmed his team was preparing to deport the man after his appeal against a decision to reject his bid for asylum was turned down.

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