by Emily de Riel
Published by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), December 2017
Approximately one in five Cambodians lives in poverty. By certain measures of multidimensional poverty, up to 50% of the population are either poor or vulnerable to becoming poor. While market liberalisation in the late 1990s led to rapid economic expansion, not all Cambodians benefited, and newly implemented health service user fees were beyond the reach of many. Through government action and foreign support, numerous social protection programmes for the poor were set up, including free health care and school scholarships. However, each programme and implementing organisation had its own criteria and process to identify the poor. This was inefficient, confusing and often did not reach the most vulnerable populations.