Phnom Penh, November 25, 2013—Cambodia and the World Bank Group have been partners in development since 1970. The World Bank Group has provided analyses, advice, and financing to Cambodia—both the government and the private sector—in areas ranging from education and healthcare to energy policy and clean drinking water. This note explains the current engagement of the WBG with Cambodia, as Cambodia and the World Bank Group prepare for the next multi-year country strategy and partnership.
Since 2011, the World Bank Group has focused on supporting Cambodia in the implementation of projects financed by previously approved World Bank loans or by funds that the World Bank administers on behalf of other development partners of Cambodia, so-called Trust Funds. World Bank support has also included analyses, studies, and advisory services. The World Bank has not, since 2011, approved new commitments of financing by the International Development Association, the IDA—the World Bank Group's fund for the poorest—for Cambodia.
Cambodia’s economy has been strong for the past few years and the 2013 projection for economic growth is 7 percent. Cambodia has exceeded the MDG poverty reduction target. It is also one of the best performers in poverty reduction worldwide in recent years. As a result, poverty has been reduced from 53 percent in 2004 to about 20 percent in 2011. Despite Cambodia’s strong economic growth, roughly 20 percent of Cambodians—2.8 million people—are still poor, with 90 percent of them living in rural areas. Nearly 40 percent of children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition, and 28 percent in the same age group are underweight. Cambodia’s human development investments needs are substantial, especially in the areas of health and education, to create opportunities for all.
Currently, the World Bank Group, together with Cambodia, is preparing a new two-year Interim Strategy Note (ISN) aiming at providing assistance to support the people of Cambodia in addressing their development challenges and reducing poverty.
As a global knowledge and financial institution, the World Bank Group works with all stakeholders—the government, the private sector, academia and civil society, as well as Cambodia's other development partners—to help provide development solutions for Cambodia, in pursuit of the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity.