Cambodia saw a slight improvement in its ranking in this year’s Fragile States Index, moving down from 41 to 46 out of 178 countries.
Produced by The Fund for Peace, an organisation that aims to prevent war and alleviate the conditions that cause war, the index measures areas that could “push a state towards the brink of failure”.
While Cambodia’s overall score dropped by 0.5 points to 87.4 – decreases show improving trends – the country registered worse scores than last year in seven of the 12 key political, social and economic categories measured, keeping it firmly in the “high warning” category.
The report used data collected from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2015, and shows scores for one-, five- and 10-year periods.
Areas where Cambodia improved in the latest result included the economy, group grievances and uneven economic development in the Social and Economic section, and security apparatus and human rights in the Political and Military section.
The areas where the country slipped the most last year were in human flight and public service. Looking at trend numbers over the past decade, the country has declined the most in terms of human rights and factionalised elites, while the economy surged.
“It’s hard to believe these reports. We don’t pay much attention to them because we don’t find them to be that credible,” said government spokesperson Phay Siphan. “International organisations use the rankings to serve their own agendas.”
Earlier this month, Cambodia saw a rise in its “Peace Index” ranking, produced by the think tank Institute for Economics and Peace, but the authors warned that domestic political instability has offset gains from overseas peacekeeping activities.