One of the southernmost countries on mainland Southeast Asia, Cambodia is located on the Gulf of Thailand between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. The majority of the population, a little over 15 million, practice Buddhism. With over half the population working in the agriculture sector, Cambodia is the poorest country in the region. Its recent history has also perhaps been the most turbulent in the region. With a long and arduous political history, Cambodia has finally reached a stage of relative peace. It has made major advances in terms of industry, education, poverty alleviation and health care.
Despite these improvements the country still faces a set of major challenges to development. A large portion of the population lives in the countryside where infrastructure is basically non-existent. Its people suffer from chronic poverty, which in turn has led to chronic malnutrition for its children and an education system that is severely lacking. Cambodia’s future development is impeded by these very real problems, as well as the role of China in the Greater Mekong Sub region. The effects of China’s damming on the downstream countries of the Mekong are not yet fully known, but it is certain that they will be substantial and significant. Cambodia currently faces a future of uncertainties in terms of development and the continuation of its people’s ways of life.
Click on the links below to access further analysis on Cambodia.
Basic Country Report Written by Allie Horick, November 2013. Additions contributed by Theresa Jacobs in April 2014.
Keskinen, Marko, Matti Kummu, Mira Käkönen, and Olli Varis. “Mekong at the Crossroads: Alternative Paths of Water Development and Impact Assessment.” (2012): n. page. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.
“Cambodia: Country Summary.” Human Rights Watch. (Jan. 2014) Web. http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/related_material/cambodia_7.pdf (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014). 1-5
“Cambodia: Garment Factories Thwarting Unions.” Human Rights Watch. (Feb. 2, 2014) Web. http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/02/02/cambodia-garment-factories-thwarting-unions (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014)
“Cambodia: Hun Sen Promoting, Rewarding Killers.” Human Rights Watch. (Nov. 13, 2012). Web. http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/11/13/cambodia-hun-sen-promoting-rewarding-killers (accessed: Apr. 05, 2014)
“Cambodia Overview: Poverty Rate.” The World Bank Group. (Dec. 23, 2013) Web. http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/cambodia/overview (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014). 1-5
Campbell, Charlie. “Cambodia Is a Deadly Political Mess That the World Completely Ignores.” Time Magazine (Feb. 28, 2014) Web. http://time.com/10442/cambodia-protests-marred-by-racism-violence-detentions/ (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014)
Cheng Yang. “Corruption remains a major obstacle to businesses in Cambodia: new survey.” Xinhua News. (Mar. 12, 2014) Web. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-03/12/c_133180671.htm (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014)
“China gives Cambodia $600m in Aid.” BBC News. (Apr. 08, 2006) Web. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4890400.stm (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014).
“China pledges $548 million in aid to ally Cambodia.” Reuters. (Apr. 10, 2013) Web. http://www.reuters.com/article/201`3/04/10/us-cambodia-china-idUSBRE93909D20130410 (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014).
Directorate General of Health: Ministry of Health Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey 2010. Calverton, Maryland, Sept. 2011. Print. 1 – 368
Grimsditch, Mark. “China’s Investments in Hydropower in the Mekong Region: The Kamchay Hydropower Dam, Kampot, Cambodia.” World Resource Institute (Jan. 2012). Print. 1-60
Spetalnick, Matt. “Obama presses Cambodia’s Hun Sen to improve rights records.” Reuters (Nov. 19, 2012). Web. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/us-obama-cambodia-rights-idUSBRE8AI0L420121119 (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014)
Hunt, Luke. “Even the Chinese are Rapping Cambodian Knuckles.” The Diplomat. (Dec. 13. 2013) http://thediplomat.com/2013/12/even-the-chinese-are-rapping-cambodian-knuckles/ (accessed: Apr. 5, 2013).
Keo, Peter Tan. “Corruption in Cambodia?” The Diplomat. (Dec. 10, 2013) Web. http://thediplomat.com/2013/12/corruption-in-cambodia/ (accessed: Apr. 5, 2013).
Pheakdey, Heng. “Chinese investment and aid in Cambodia a controversial affair.” East Asia Forum. (Jul. 16, 2013) Web. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/07/16/chinese-investment-and-aid-in-cambodia-a-controversial-affair/ (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014)
“Poverty has fallen, yet many Cambodians are still at risk of slipping back into poverty, new report finds.” The World Bank Group.” (Feb. 20, 2014) Web. http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2014/02/20/poverty-has-fallen-yet-many-cambodians-are-still-at-risk-of-slipping-back-into-poverty (accessed: Apr. 05, 2013). 1-3
Wong, Chun Han. “Cambodia’s Hun Sen Slams U.S. Threats Over Aid.” The Wall Street Journal. (Aug. 3, 2013) Web. http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/08/03/cambodias-hun-sen-slams-u-s-threats-over-aid/ (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014).
“Where Have All the Poor Gone: Poverty Monitoring And Analysis.” The World Bank Group. (Oct. 2013) Web. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2013/01/18594672/all-poor-gone (accessed: Apr. 5, 2014). 1-2