MP Joseph, Ouk Sisovann, Phoebe Hau Man Leung and Ippei Tsuruga, ILO IPEC Cambodia
Prepared for “A Consultation on the Role of a National Social Protection Strategy in augmenting Human Capital through promoting Education and reducing Child Labor” in the drafting process of Cambodia National Social Protection Strategy.
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Coming on the heels of the food price crisis in 2008, the Royal Government of Cambodia and Development Partners realize that despite double‐digit growth between 2004 and 2007, many Cambodians still face serious forms of vulnerabilities. In the rural areas, the almost 70 percent of landless and land‐poor households and families relying on single crop subsistence agriculture were the worst hit. Spending around 70 percent of their incomes on food, chronically poor families could no longer afford rice, meat and vegetables at 30 to 100 percent above normal prices. With meagre income, these families also had little savings to fall back on during such difficult times. In effect, their coping strategies involved restricting food consumption, selling productive assets, incurring high‐interest loans and withdrawing children from schools.1 These anecdotal and empirical reports drew attention to the human development implications of these adverse shocks and how social protection measures may reduce these vulnerabilities.
Key words – poverty reduction, human development, social protection, Cambodia, child labour, education