Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - World Bank says more needed to end poverty in Kingdom

World Bank says more needed to end poverty in Kingdom

Garment factory workers purchase lunch from vendors in Kampong Cham’s Cheng Prey district in 2014.
Garment factory workers purchase lunch from vendors in Kampong Cham’s Cheng Prey district in 2014. Vireak Mai

World Bank says more needed to end poverty in Kingdom

Cambodia may have reduced its levels of extreme poverty to the single-digits, but its middle class is nearly nonexistent and approximately half of its population remains highly susceptible to economic shocks, according to a World Bank report released yesterday.

In order to bolster the upward mobility and economic security of Cambodia’s most vulnerable populations, new policies that prioritise economic mobility and integrate social protection programs are needed, the bank urged in a regional report.

Cambodia is among the latest in the region to become classified by the bank as an “out-of-extreme-poverty” country, with a mere 0.7 percent of its population in severe destitution.

“While levels of extreme poor have all but diminished and percentage of moderate poor have lowered, about half of Cambodians remain ‘economically vulnerable’ with only a small sliver of Cambodians being counted as ‘middle class’,” the report said.

As a result, economic shocks are common and potentially devastating. Cambodia’s rural populations remain plagued by lack of access to clean water, sanitation and quality housing, and while the main means of escaping poverty remains the establishment of a small business, many in the provinces do not have access to the financial tools to become entrepreneurs.

“The central elements of a strategy for fostering economic mobility must be ensuring that everyone has opportunities for paid employment, that people can move to better opportunities if available, and that the quality of jobs improves over time,” the report said.

Nevertheless, the Kingdom may soon see positive impacts from increased investment flowing from China as the giant northern country aims to take advantage of cheap labour offered in the region.

“Lower-income countries in East Asia and Pacific may be able to reap the benefits of China shifting some of these activities such as electronics, as its labour costs continue to increase, to neighboring countries with lower wages,” the report said, adding that Cambodia would have to improve upon the efficiency of its logistics and create a more favourable business environment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t takes steps to lower logistics, transport costs

    With the threat of losing trade privileges in the EU drawing closer, the government is taking measures to reduce logistics and transportation costs to safeguard the Kingdom’s competitiveness. The EU is due to decide whether or not to withdraw the Kingdom’s trade privileges