Clarification: Multidimensional Poverty is decreasing in Cambodia

September 26, 2018

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 – Recent reports on Multidimensional Poverty Index data grossly misrepresent UNDP’s point of view. The reporting that poverty has risen is inaccurate. In fact, Cambodia’s poverty continues to fall by nearly every measure. In 2014, income poverty was 13.5%, and provisional estimates suggest that this is likely to have fallen below 10%.

The Multidimensional Poverty Headcount, reported at 35% for Cambodia, is a complex measure based on ten indicators (education – 2 indicators, health – 2 indicators and living standards – 6 indicators). However, when we compare Multidimensional Poverty on a global scale, we find Cambodia ranks 58th out of 105 countries, close to the global average.

“The story of poverty in Cambodia is one of remarkable success over last 15 years,” said Nick Beresford, UNDP Country Director in Cambodia. “It is clear that Cambodia’s progress in addressing poverty, in all of its forms, is strong and positive.

The chart below shows time trend reductions in Multidimensional Poverty in Cambodia have been large and sustained over the last fifteen years. As the chart also shows, Cambodia is the best performer in the region.

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