6 Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty

Where we are

Cambodian farmers collect their 3rd rice output in one year. (Photo: UNDP Cambodia)

Overview on Cambodia MDG1

The RGC undertook redefining a new national poverty line in 2012. It is not officially approved yet, but the draft findings are presented here. In the proposed poverty line, food poverty line is defined as the cost of purchasing food equivalent to 2,200 Kilocalories. An allowance for non-food items is made. A small token allowance for clean water has been made. Separate calculations are made for rural areas, other urban areas, and Phnom Penh.

Recent trends in the percentage of persons below this poverty line could be seen in Figure 1.

The target of reducing the poverty rate to 19% has been nearly met. The 20% poorest population consuming no less than 10% of total consumption by 2015 is within reach. The Gini coefficient of inequality is also falling.

Persons aged less than 18 years engaged in labour for a major part of their time are deemed child workers. Child labour exists, though it is on the decline: a reduction from about 20% to 14% children working through 2009-2011. A combination of falling poverty proportions and increased retention of children in schools in grades higher than primary level appears to have contributed to achieving this. However, the numbers are still larger than the set target of 8% for 2015.

There is a considerable lag, however, in combating child malnutrition.

A statement on CMDG1

It appears as if the goals of poverty are achievable though child labour and malnutrition need closer attention.

UNDP's work in Cambodia

  • Cambodian villagers hold a meeting with commune chief. (Photo: UNDP Cambodia)


1.43 years
until 2015

1990 2015
Targets for Cambodia MDG1
  • Reduce poverty rate to 19.5% of the population or less
  • Raise share of the poorest quintile population in national consumption to 11%
  • Reduce the prevalence of working children (up to 17 years) to ≤8% by 2015
  • Halving child malnutrition indicators
Targets for MDG1
  1. Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
    • Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Poverty gap ratio
    • Share of poorest quintile in national consumption
  2. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
    • Growth rate of GDP per person employed
    • Employment-to-population ratio
    • Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
    • Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age
    • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption