Cambodia has achieved impressive economic growth since the mid-1990s and has made significant progress in reducing national poverty. Cambodia is ranked 138 out of 185 countries on the UNDP 2013 Human Development Index. According to the World Bank, the poverty rate decreased from 53.2 percent in 2004 to 20.5 percent in 2011. However, a significant portion of the population remains ‘near poor’ as they are still at high risk of falling back into poverty at the slightest income shock. Thus, the impact of losing US$0.30 a day in income would double the poverty rate to 40 percent.
While Cambodia produces a surplus of paddy rice for export, household access to sufficient and nutritious food remains a serious challenge. This is due to high poverty rates and limited social protection coverage for the poor and vulnerable households.
According to the 2007 Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey (CSES), the proportion of the population living under the food poverty line is 18 percent. Strong improvement has been reported over the years on most key health indicators, as per the most recent Demographic Health Survey (CDHS 2010).
However, malnutrition rates in Cambodia remain stubbornly high; almost 40 percent of children under 5 are chronically malnourished (stunted), over 28 percent are underweight and 10.9 percent are acutely malnourished (wasted). One out of five women are underweight.
Micronutrient deficiencies, especially iron, vitamin A and iodine, are a major public health concern especially among children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women. The maternal mortality ratio is 206 per 100,000 live births and life expectancy is low at 58 years for men and 64 years for women.
Cambodia is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, with regular monsoon flooding in the Mekong and Tonle Sap basin and localized droughts in the plains region. Cambodia experienced extensive flooding at the end of 2011 and again in 2013, causing severe damage to livelihoods and to rice crops across flood-affected provinces.
Rising inequality, landlessness and deterioration of common property resources have eroded the coping capacity of food-insecure people in recent years. Limited access for the poor to education and health services and low levels of investment in public infrastructure perpetuate food insecurity and undernutrition.
In support of government efforts to tackle food security challenges, WFP’s assistance in Cambodia focuses on food-based social safety nets in the sectors of education, nutrition and productive assets/livelihoods support, in order to enable longer-term, nationally owned food security solutions.
ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.
Our approach to securing change puts human rights front and centre, prioritising empowerment, solidarity and campaigning.
We help to empower excluded groups by raising rights awareness, strengthening grassroots organizations and social movements and enabling people to have a say in the formal power structures that affect their lives.
We strengthen solidarity by connecting and organizing people committed to a common cause, building alliances and deepening understanding and public awareness of poverty and justice issues.
We campaign to mobilize people to take action, advocate for change and push local issues up the agenda at regional and national levels.
Our three strategic objectives
Strategic objective 1. By 2018 smallholder farmers, artisan fisherfolk, women and children in 75 communities where we work will have improved food security and control over their livelihoods.
Strategic objective 2. By 2018, 90% of girls and boys aged 6-15 in the communities where we work will equally enjoy their right to quality public education.
Strategic objective 3. By 2018, 8,000 women in urban areas and 70% of women in rural communities where we work are organised and challenge gender-based violence and gender inequality in all aspects of their lives.
From 2013 to 2018 we are committed to advancing three strategic objectives and delivering on tenchange promises. Each of our objectives falls under the banner of our overall strategic objective:
“The rights of poor and excluded people will be protected, with particular emphasis on food security, quality public education and women’s rights with smallholder farmers, artisan fisherfolk, women and children.”
Australia’s aid program
The Australian Government’s new development policy Australian aid: promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, enhancing stability and new performance framework Making Performance Count: enhancing the accountability and effectiveness of Australian aid introduce key shifts in our aid program.
The need for change
The world has changed—and our aid program must change too. Today, many developing countries are growing rapidly, with aid representing an increasingly small proportion of development finance.
To be effective in this new context, our aid needs to be more innovative and catalytic, leveraging other drivers for development, such as private sector investment and domestic finance. We need to recast our aid program in light of this new development paradigm.
Changing where we work
The Australian aid program will focus on our Indo-Pacific region. We will have a sharper focus on our immediate neighbourhood—this is where we can make the most difference.
Changing what we do: re-shaping the aid program
The purpose of the aid program is to promote Australia’s national interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. We will pursue this purpose by focusing on two development outcomes: supporting private sector development and strengthening human development.
We Effect (formerly Swedish Cooperative Centre) was funded in 1958. We are a development cooperation organisation applying a long-term, rights based approach in order to effect change.
Our guiding principle is Help to self-help. We work in 25 countries across four continents, from Guatemala, via Zambia and Moldova to the Phillipines. Our focus areas are Rural development, Housing, Gender equality and Access to land.
There are no shortcuts out of poverty. Therefore, the key factor in everything we do is Togetherness. Poverty can be alleviated by empowering individuals and organisations, creating improved income levels, better and more sustainable farming, adequate housing and equal rights for all.
We know that people find ways out of poverty by working together. For this reason we support people to organise and acquire new knowledge. This, in turn, helps create the possibility to make a permanent move away from poverty.
We Effect? When people join together in order to help themselves.
What we’re doing: Oxfam in Cambodia
We’ve been working to change lives here for over three decades, teaming up with local partners, community groups and the government. Since we’re experts in providing clean water and sanitation facilities – and because poor sanitation causes 6,000 deaths a year in Cambodia – we are always working to improve people’s awareness of hygiene issues, in addition to delivering practical support for healthy living.
Our work in Cambodia also focuses on closing the increasing gap between rich and poor. There are several ways in which we do this, including supporting people to earn a fair living and making sure that vital resources and opportunities can be accessed by everybody. Put simply, we’re working towards a healthier future for all.