Some 460,000 people in Cambodia have fallen below poverty income thresholds since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, said a World Bank report released on Monday.
Titled Poverty Assessment Report for Cambodia, Toward a More Inclusive and Resilient Cambodia, the report said Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 percent to 17.8 percent over the 10-year period between 2009 and 2019, with almost 2 million Cambodians escaping poverty.
“Since 2020, the rate has increased by 2.8 percentage points, indicating that around 460,000 people have fallen below poverty income thresholds,” the report said.
Maryam Salim, World Bank country manager for Cambodia, said despite the impressive success in poverty reduction from 2009 to 2019, many households remained vulnerable, with few savings or safety nets.
“This meant COVID-19 dealt a setback to the country’s progress in combating poverty as employment and wages diminished,” she said in a news release while launching the report.
To support a more inclusive and resilient recovery from the pandemic and the economic shocks that came with it, Cambodia could consider a range of policy actions, the report said, adding that these included targeted cash transfers, steps to strengthening social protection and investments in health and education.
The Southeast Asian nation has a population of 16 million people. The World Bank said the national poverty line in the kingdom is 10,951 riel or 2.7 U.S. dollars per person a day.