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

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a