Cambodia is one of the least developed countries in the world. More than one-third of its relatively young population lives below the poverty line and limited access to safe drinking water, health care, education and other public services, according with reports from different sources.
The 80 percent of the Cambodian population lives in rural areas depending on agriculture. Unfortunately, economic growth remains far below its potential due to low productivity, constrained access to land, poor services and a lack of infrastructure.
Poverty in Cambodia has a predominantly rural face, and disparities between the rural and the urban area are widening. With 90% of the country’s poor living in the rural areas, promoting agriculture and the rural development plays a central role in the national development strategy and is crucial for growth, poverty reduction, a fairer distribution of wealth and helping to absorb the steadily growing labor force.
Assistance to promote processing and the expansion of small and medium rural enterprises aims at higher local value adding to employment and income generation. In other to achieve sustainability, assistance is being provided to farmers and small businesses for the establishment and improvement of demand-driven services as well as for the promotion of reducer and business associations.
Special attention is also given to sectors with a high percentage of female entrepreneurs in other to contribute to more gender equality in the rural area. Furthermore, rural economic development is being backed by nationwide micro finance services via Acleda Bank and credit programs for small and medium enterprises to provide medium and long-term loans. Today, Acleda is one of the world’s most successful micro finance institutions.
Edition: Al Rodas