Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government pooh-poohs poverty stats

Government pooh-poohs poverty stats

Government pooh-poohs poverty stats

THE government has rejected a recent media report stating that around 30 percent of the Kingdom’s 14 million people are currently living below the poverty line.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit took exception to a Radio Free Asia report, aired on Sunday, that quoted a spokesman from the United Nations Population Fund offering the figure.

“We entirely reject the information,” said Tith Sothea, a spokesman for the PQRU.

“We do not know for sure whether Radio Free Asia quoted incorrectly or if the [UNFPA] official spoke incorrectly, but we reject the information.”

According to yesterday’s statement, the percentage of Cambodians living in poverty fell from 50 percent in 1993 to 30 percent in 2007 and 27.4 percent in 2009.

“Even though Cambodia suffered from the global downturn, the latest figures from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Ministry of Planning show that Cambodians living under the poverty line dropped to 27.3 percent in 2010,” the statement said.

It added that the Cambodian government expected to reach the country’s Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty to 19.5 percent by 2015.

Pen Sophanara, the UNFPA communications officer quoted by RFA, said the figure she cited was based on a report released by the agency in 2008.

Men in black Also yesterday, the PQRU moved to quash a Thai media report that a group of “men in black” – Cambodian-trained special forces of Vietnamese origin – was “staking out” the home of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The report, carried in The Nation newspaper last week, was based on comments from a Thai government spokesman, who said police were maintaining a close watch on the men.

The PQRU denounced the report as an attempt “to link Thai unending squabbles with Cambodia” and “fan acts of hostility towards the Kingdom of Cambodia”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also rejected the reports Sunday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the