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

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police

  • Rapper deletes song critical of Cambodian social issues

    A young musician has deleted from Facebook and YouTube a rap song that was critical of Cambodia’s social issues and announced that he will stop singing the song after officials visited his home in Siem Reap province and allegedly gave him a warning. Provincial

  • Kampong Chhnang teacher detained for providing health services

    Kampong Chhnang provincial court on Saturday ordered a schoolteacher into pre-trial detention for allegedly providing health services and injections illegally in Kampong Tralach district. Chhuon Siven, the Kampong Chhnang provincial court spokesperson, told The Post on Sunday that the court had ordered the detention of

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on