Cambodia is still recovering from the Khmer Rouge’s brief but destructive reign between 1975 and 1979. Between one and three million people - one in four Cambodians - were killed under the regime, and the country’s economy and social structures were devastated. Caritas Australia is working on rebuilding livelihoods, improving infrastructure, and supporting young people and people with disabilities.
Why do we work in Cambodia?
Though its economy has grown strongly in recent years, Cambodia remains one the world’s poorest countries. Most Cambodians have limited access to basic healthcare, safe drinking water and sanitation, and their life expectancy is one of the lowest in the world.
Past conflicts have also contributed to high rates of disability in the Cambodian population: around one in five disabilities in Cambodia is the result of war or injury from landmines and other unexploded munitions.
Our work in Cambodia
The video below tells the story of our work in Cambodia.
Caritas Australia supports 16 programs in Cambodia implemented through 13 local partners. Programs aim to improve food security, agriculture, health, water and sanitation, and support young people and people with a disability.
Examples of our work
- Caritas Australia’s local partners have helped over 160 families in Phnom Penh’s slum communities by providing livelihood training for young people and building infrastructure such as roads and drains.
- The Rural Livelihood Enhancement Project has increased income among Cambodian villagers by introducing new techniques in chicken-raising, kitchen gardening and cultivation. Community training in health issues, access to health services and clean water and household sanitation were also conducted.
- Six villages around Kampong Thom have been provided with clean water and improved access to health services. Education on human rights has contributed to a reduction in violence against women and children. Awareness-raising on flood preparedness and climate change was also carried out in a further 11 villages.
- The Maryknoll Deaf Development program has provided basic education training for 84 adults who are deaf or hearing impaired, and job training to a further 33 in remote areas.
1 Data from Triple Jeopardy: Gender-based violence and human rights violations experienced by women with disabilities in Cambodia, Jill Astbury and Fareen Walji, AusAID Research Working Paper 1, January 2013.