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Phnom Penh – The need to improve education quality and develop a skilled work force is the focus of the Cambodia Human Development Report (CHDR) which is planned for release in mid-2014. The report will be titled as “Investing in Human Development on the Road to Inclusive Growth.” Work on it is now underway following a consultation meeting that UNDP held with representatives of the government ministries and development partners on 8 August 2013.
The report puts challenges surrounding Cambodian human capital under the spotlight. Some of critical issues it is looking at include quality of education, skill and vocational training, and public investment by the government to build a capable human resource to promote inclusive growth.
According to UNDP’s global Human Development Report 2013, Cambodia’s public spending trend in health and education between 2000 and 2010 is marginal, from about 1.3 percent to 2.1 percent in health and from 1.7 percent to 2.6 percent in education. For a country with very low educational attainments and low human capital formation, this spending trend in health and education is not only marginal but also not responding to existing and the future ahead.
Speaking during the meeting to discuss concept for CHDR last week, Setsuko Yamazaki, country director of UNDP in Cambodia, stressed that addressing the ‘human capital divide’ would enable Cambodia to sustain growth and improve well-being of its citizens.
“As we all know, the globalized world embraces not only opportunities but also threats in the form of financial crisis, environmental disasters, migration, internal conflicts and global terrorism,” she said.
“Cambodia’s future will absolutely depend on its productive citizens. Action is required to address human capital not only to fill the existing or future demands of skills but also as a matter of addressing inequalities and low living standards,” she added.
Presented in this leaflet is an abstract of the 2013 Human Development Report on Cambodia’s performance on key indices of human development.