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

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the