Cambodia has made significant economic progress, undergoing a significant transition over the past two decades, reaching lower middle-income status in 2015 and aiming to acquire upper middle-income status by 2030. Its sustained average real growth rate was at 7.7 percent between 1998 and 2019, resulting in significant reduction in the poverty rate from 13.5 percent in 2014 (MoP) compared to 50 percent in 1992. Despite the progress, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, with approximately 30 percent of its population living below the national poverty line. Furthermore, Cambodia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in Asia.
People in Need has been working in Cambodia since 2008 and has helped more than 100,000 farm households in 25 provinces so far.
From our office in Phnom Penh, we run all our programmes throughout the country. We implement programmes on Green Energy and WASH, Disaster Management and Urban Resilience, TVET, and Alternative Livelihoods. We support people living in rural areas on their way towards long-term sustainable development. We share our knowledge on how to use renewable and alternative sources of energy such as biogas and solar energy, support them to be disaster prepared, how to practice safety measures against COVID-19, teach about livestock breeding, expand the market value chains, participate in building and strengthening local markets, and provide opportunities for job creation and employment.
In recent years, People in Need has contributed to the improved and strengthened disaster preparedness in Cambodia through the Early Warning System for disasters. In case the country is hit by a natural disaster, we will provide an immediate response to affected people—like during the floods in 2011, 2013, and 2020, and in 2017 when Cambodia was hit by excessive drought.
We have also been working on improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene, especially through educational programmes in communities. Most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been involved in supporting urban poor communities in Phnom Penh with proper sanitation, safety behaviours, and economic recovery for small businesses and provide job opportunities through TVET institutions.
We provide economic opportunities for MSMEs in Cambodia and proper knowledge and practice towards alternative and renewable energy through the SWITCH to Solar programme. We are committed to help strengthen education and training in Cambodia and provide further opportunities for the youth to hone and develop their skills in various areas such as innovation and technology, agriculture, food processing, amongst others through the TVET programmes. Through the livelihood programmes, we have been supporting and collaborating with local organizations and communities, and support initiatives giving the poor a chance to live a better and more sustainable life.