Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UNDP report finds 35% of Cambodians still mired in poverty

UNDP report finds 35% of Cambodians still mired in poverty

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Fishermen cast their nets in Kandal province’s Khsach Kandal district last week. Heng Chivoan

UNDP report finds 35% of Cambodians still mired in poverty

Thirty-five per cent of Cambodians are still living in poverty, with the rural population making up the majority, according to estimates from the 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) on Thursday.

“The recently released MPI reveals that 40 per cent of the rural population is living in multidimensional poverty, compared to seven per cent in urban settings,” said UNDP Country Director Nick Beresford.

The MPI based on 2014-15 data is repeated at the provincial level, with multidimensional poverty in Phnom Penh estimated at seven per cent of the population versus a sizeable 64 per cent in Preah Vihear and Stung Treng provinces.

Cambodia is not alone. The latest data also reveals the vast majority – 1.1 billion – of the multidimensional poor live in rural areas around the world, where poverty rates, at 36 per cent, are four times higher than among those living in urban areas.

As with global data, children and adolescents under 19 in Cambodia are generally poorer and constitute around 45 per cent of the total poor.

The UNDP said a further 21.1 per cent of the population is vulnerable to poverty, with 12 per cent classified as severely multidimensional poor.

This is especially worrisome as those nearing “poor” are also at risk of falling into multidimensional poverty, which could happen quickly if they suffer setbacks from, among others, sickness, drought and unemployment.

Beresford said that eradicating poverty in all forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity.

While the Cambodian government’s commitment to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals is commendable, he said it needs to turn its commitments into actions if it is to reach the universal goal of leaving no one behind by 2030.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

“The Sustainable Development Goals reaffirm international commitment to end poverty, permanently, everywhere."

“They are ambitious in making sure no one is left behind. More importantly, they involve us all to build a more sustainable, safer, and more prosperous planet for all humanity,” he said.

The 2018 MPI provides the most comprehensive view of the many ways in which 1.3 billion people worldwide experience poverty in their daily life.

The new figures show that in 104 primarily low- and middle-income countries, 662 million children are considered multidimensional poor. In 35 countries, half of all children are poor.

The MPI data looked beyond income to understand how people experience poverty in multiple and simultaneous ways.

It identifies how people are being left behind across three key dimensions – health, education and living standards, with those lacking such things as clean water, sanitation, adequate nutrition or primary education.

Traditional poverty measure – often calculated by the number of people who earn less than $1.90 a day – shed light on how little people earn but not on how they experience poverty in their daily lives.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer