Cambodia is experiencing significant economic growth, and urban areas in particular are undergoing fast development with an average growth of 2.7% per year. In spite of this success, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, with approximately 30% of its population living below the national poverty line, vulnerable to natural disasters and disease, while malnutrition continues to be a serious problem in Cambodia, affecting an average of 32% of children under the age of 5.
Despite urban growth, the majority of Cambodians live in rural areas where the country's economic growth is significantly slower, and there is limited support to small-scale farmers to develop their value chains and benefit from economic growth. Traditional and unsustainable practices continue to create environmental degradation, resulting in Cambodia experiencing the third fastest deforestation rate in the world.
Cambodia has also been ranked as the 9th most disaster prone country in the world, facing recurrent floods, droughts and tropical storms that deeply affect the population and hamper other socio-economic progress, hindering the poor in their efforts to escape the poverty cycle.
People in Need has been working in Cambodia since 2008 providing development and emergency assistance in rural and urban areas, specifically focusing on renewable energy, market development for improved livelihoods, improvement of maternal and child health and nutrition, and disaster risk reduction. In Cambodia PIN uses its expertise in land use planning, disaster management, health issues and alternative livelihood development and to assist communities so they can enjoy the benefits of economic growth while protecting their rights.