Be A Smart Traveller

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Poverty in the rural areas of Cambodia

It is true that the Kingdom of Cambodia is a land rich with natural resources; yet, due to war and internal conflicts, the country is now one of the poorest countries in the world. It’s amazing how a rich country like Cambodia has to bear with the effects of social and economic challenges. These problems left a ‘scar’ to the country. 

The poor people make up to almost 4.8 million, with 90% of them living in the rural areas. Most of them rely on agriculture, although about 12% are actually landless. Farmers implement traditional methods to run their farms, although they are aware of the low productivity that they will eventually achieve at the end of the day. Life is hard indeed for almost many. Fishermen are also amongst the poor and women are not given equal access to education, paid employment and land ownership. It is such a disappointment on how today’s women are still treated like women in the older days. To know that these women are not given the rights that they also deserve is very much disappointing, but to find out about the fact that they also have to hold huge responsibilities towards their families if their male family members are killed in conflicts is even more depressing. How do they live? How can they ever improve their lives? 

Due to the lack of education and skills training, most of the locals have less to hope for in lives as there are inadequate employment opportunities around the country. Apart from that, they don’t have enough access to natural resources and when a community is lack of all these, the tendency of having health problems is even higher. All these factors simply cripple economical aspect of the poor families in Cambodia. 

What’s even worse, many young women had to migrate to urban factories and become sex workers in neighbouring countries in order to make a living. HIV is easily spread, although recently the rates seem to have shown a decrease.

 

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Liv Hambrett

An Australian in Germany

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