Information by Country

Cambodia: Background

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.
After decades of war and civil strife, Cambodia has enjoyed relative peace for the past several years and is steadily rebuilding its shattered infrastructure, society and economy

Given the destruction wrought by years of terrible conflict, recovery has been slow – Cambodia is still one of the poorest countries in Asia, with some 34 per cent of its people surviving on less than US$ 1 a day. Nearly half of all Cambodian children are malnourished, and one in eight dies before their fifth birthday, largely due to preventable causes. More than half of Cambodia’s 13 million people are under the age of 18, and ensuring that they will grow up to be healthy, educated adults ready to fully contribute to the sustainable development of their country remains a major challenge.

Yet Cambodia is making progress towards that goal. Nearly 90 per cent of children now enter primary school, with girls enrolling at almost the same rate as boys.  Although Cambodia still has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Asia, this rate has fallen by nearly one-third since 1997. Stepped up efforts in law enforcement for child protection have resulted in over 750 sex tourists and paedophiles being arrested and prosecuted in recent years for the sexual abuse of children. And the country’s development efforts are now being guided by new sector-wide strategies and policies in the areas of poverty reduction, health, education and nutrition.


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