Cambodia has been one of the world’s leading countries in reducing poverty over the past 25 years, according to officials attending the International Forum on Sharing Poverty Reduction Experience held on December 14 and 15 in Beijing.

At the forum, participants expressed their commitment to continue working together to accelerate the process of alleviating global poverty.

Cambodian Minister of Rural Development Ouk Rabun said in a press release that the forum was organised by the State Council Leading Group Office and Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, with leaders and representatives from various nations, UN agencies, development partners, civil society organisations and research institutions participating.

The forum aims to mobilise all stakeholders to strengthen mutual trust in global poverty reduction as an important contribution towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, the minister said.

Rabun attributed Cambodia’s progress in reducing poverty to efforts by its government and partners, notably China, to develop rural infrastructure, especially roads, water supplies, environmental clean-up projects and sanitation, as well as capacity building across industries nationwide.

Rabun said the forum is a response to the current pressing situations and signals support among the international community to adhere to multi-party policy, the protection of peace and sustainable development.

In a statement, Liu Youngfu, the director of China’s State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, welcomed the contributions of delegates in sharing their experiences and views on global poverty reduction.

Cambodian delegate Theng Pagnathun told The Post on December 15 that the government remains focused on implementing policies and strategies that directly reduce poverty.

He cited census statistics indicating that in 2014, Cambodia’s poverty rate stood at 13.5 per cent of a total population of about 15.25 million people. By 2016-2017, the poverty rate had fallen below 10 per cent while the population rose by half a million.

“Currently, even though the results of the 2019 population census haven’t been officially announced, our total population is over 16 million people. But for 2019-2020, we haven’t yet made predictions for recalculating the poverty rate,” he said.