A Poverty Profile of Cambodia 2004

The Poverty Profile of Cambodia 2004 presents the major descriptions of poverty and examines its pattern using the Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey (CSES) 2003/04. It shows, among others, how poverty varies with geography and how it is affected by different village/community characteristics or by household-level attributes. The poverty profile thus contains valuable information needed to develop effective anti-poverty policies and programs. The information is also useful for monitoring and evaluating progress in poverty reduction in the country.

The present Poverty Profile also provides a rich and systematic information base on distribution of living standards of all Cambodians and thereby supports the Royal Government’s efforts to strengthen its poverty reduction policies. I am glad to learn that preliminary version of the poverty profile provided important information in preparing the country’s comprehensive National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) 2006-2010.

The 2004 Poverty Profile brings out a number of insights on how Cambodia can reduce poverty faster by realizing a more pro-poor growth in the coming years. The existence of a great variety in income strategies and asset holdings of the country’s poor makes it clear that no single remedy is adequate to reduce poverty in Cambodia. The need is to provide a multi-pronged attack on poverty. The results also bring out the major challenge of accelerating poverty reduction in the rural areas through adopting deliberate, focused and targeted strategies and actions.

The analysis points to the critical need of policies and actions which will ensure that growth reaches the poor and expands their opportunities. For this, we have to build the required assets of the poor–education, good health, access to inputs and markets, voices and power, social inclusion and participation–to help them capitalize on expanding opportunities of growth. I am confident that the findings of this poverty profile will help translate Cambodia’s poverty reduction strategies into concrete and effective actions by bringing about changes in emphasis, in practices, and in policies to ensure healthy economic growth benefiting the poor.

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