Phnom Penh: Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped to 17.8 per cent in 2020, from nearly 40 per cent in 2009, a senior official said here on Friday.
“During the last decade, the poverty rate declined by 1.6 percentage points per year, driven substantially by rising labour, especially wage, and earnings,” Xinhua news agency quoted Theng Pagnathun, director general of planning at the Ministry of Planning,as saying to reporters.
He said the gradual fall was in line with the government’s commitment to reducing at least 1 per cent of the poverty rate per annum.
The official said Cambodia’s Covid-19 cash transfer programme, launched in June 2020, had significantly benefited some 2.8 million people from 707,000 poor and vulnerable households so far.
Citing a UN Development Program-Cambodia’s new report, he said the programme helped reduce the country’s poverty rates in the last two years.
Cambodia has a population of over 16 million people.
According to the World Bank, the national poverty line in the Southeast Asian nation is 10,951 riel, or $2.7 a day.
“Under the new poverty line, about 18 percent of the population is identified as poor,” the World Bank said.
Poverty rates vary considerably by area, the bank said, adding that the poverty rate is the lowest in the capital Phnom Penh at 4.2 per cent, in other urban areas at 12.6 per cent, and the highest in rural areas at 22.8 per cent.