Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cambodia to see the worst increase in poverty: World Bank

A new study from the World Bank says that Cambodia will see the biggest increase in poverty in the Asia Pacific region.The study examines the effects of the global recession on that part of the world. 


The World Bank blames a narrow economic base and over dependency on imports as the reasons for why Cambodia will be the hardest hit. 

From the Phnom Penh Post, reporter Steve Finch breaks down the World Bank study. 

Cambodia is set to be the country hardest hit this year by the global economic crisis in the Asia-Pacific region, the World Bank said today, placing the Kingdom among only four countries projected "to experience absolute increases in poverty".

In a report released today, the bank said that Cambodia - along with Malaysia, Thailand and East Timor - would see contractions in per capita income and therefore increased poverty, noting that the Kingdom's weaker GDP growth, which the bank again revised downwards to -1 percent for 2009, would slow poverty reduction across the region.

"Cambodia is the country with the largest projected increase in the number of poor people," the World Bank said.

It projected 200,000 additional people in the Kingdom this year would be pushed below the poverty line - defined by the bank as US$1.25 a day - compared to East Timor, where a further 25,000 were forecast to sink into poverty.

The World Bank in February said that Cambodia had reduced poverty from 45 percent to 50 percent in 1993-1994 - a figure that improved to around 30 percent by 2007.

The report also said that Cambodia would see the greatest GDP growth reversal in the region.

"An expansion of 10.2 percent in 2007 stands in stark contrast to a contraction of 1 percent projected for 2009," it said.

"The difference (11.7 percent) over two years is the largest in the region, and arises from a sudden drop in garment exports and tourist arrivals."

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