C AMBODIA'S population has reached 10.4 million people, but it has the highest
mortality figures for the region, a UN report said on June 10.
infant mortality rate is 120 per 1,000 live births, meaning that out of 1,000
babies born today (July 11, 1995), 120 will die before reaching the 11th July
11, 1996," said a statement from the United Nations Fund for Population
Almost one out of five infants would die before reaching five
yeas of age, said the UNFPA statement released on Monday to mark World
Population Day (July 11).
The demographic study showed that Cambodia's
adult female population comprised 54 percent of the total population, a legacy
attributed to the 1970s "Killing Fields" reign of Pol Pot's fanatical Khmer
"In the adult population there is still a large majority of women
(54 percent), due to an excess loss of men during the Democratic Kampuchea
"About one out of five households is headed by a woman who has to
take care of children, income, security etc.," it said.
UNFPA warned that
Cambodian resources such as food, health care, education and employment were
inadequate to meet the country's future needs.
"The main problem of
Cambodia is the inadequacy between the growth of population and the growth of
"There is already a lot of poverty in the country, but the
poverty rate is not decreasing - it is increasing because the population is
growing too fast for the resources," demographer, Vincent Fauveau, country
director for UNFPA said.
The study carried out over the past 12 months
found that Cambodia is a country of migration.
It noted that the
UN-assisted repatriation of 360,000 Cambodian refugees living in border camps in
Thailand boosted the country's population by four percent when they were
returned home between 1992 and 1993.
About 50 percent of the population
is younger than 17 years while only seven percent of Cambodian women use modern
forms of contraception.
Every year the Cambodian population increases by
275,000 and will reach 12 million by the year 2,000.