Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s poorest bore brunt of financial crisis

Kingdom’s poorest bore brunt of financial crisis

Kingdom’s poorest bore brunt of financial crisis

THE global financial crisis has disproportionately affected Cambodia’s rural and urban poor, according to a Cambodian Economic Association (CEA) survey released yesterday.

Job loss and declining income were widely experienced during the crisis, according to residents of 15 villages sampled last year, but the report’s joint author said that many were unaware of the source of their financial challenges.

“Some people didn’t know anything about an international crisis; they just knew their income dropped,” CEA President Chan Sophal said.

According to the report, “Impact of the Economic Downturn on Households and Communities in Cambodia”, decreasing incomes and job loss particularly affected the urban poor during the crisis: 61 percent reported those factors as their main challenge in 2009 – a dramatic rise from 0.9 percent the year previously.

Around 15 percent of rural poor people said their main difficulty was falling wages, according to the report, up from zero in 2008.
Paying for healthcare presented a major challenge for most rural dwellers, the report added.

Inflation had previously been the most significant problem, with 47.7 percent of rural poor and 64.2 percent of urban poor reporting higher food prices as their largest difficulty in 2008.

Also, 75 percent of respondents said they began purchasing less-expensive food last year, and more than half said they were forced to reduce overall food consumption.

Compared to the 2008 figure, 9 percent more households reported taking out loans.

Although Cambodia had been hard-hit by the crisis that began in the American sub-prime mortgage market, Chan Sophal said growing international ties were still a greater benefit than drawback, to the Kingdom.

“Domestic exposure to external economies is large. Although there was a hiccup, the benefits brought by globalisation outweigh the costs,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • NOCC to contest petanque, tennis axe

    The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia will lobby hard over the next few weeks for the inclusion of the Kingdom’s most productive medal-earning sport, petanque, along with vovinam and tennis after the disciplines were left out of the initial list of 30 preferred sports for