Despite some progress made in Cambodia over the last three years (2019-2021), the problems affecting children persist, and in some cases have been further aggravated. This is largely due to the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and the increasing effects of climate change and environmental degradation, which disproportionately affect vulnerable and poor households (particularly orphans, indigenous minorities, and persons living with disabilities).
In 2021, UNDP estimated that the poverty rate in Cambodia had almost doubled – climbing to 17.6% of its 16.7 million country population, as families lose sources of income and take up loans.
Children and youth are not empowered to express their voice at local and national levels and meaningful child participation is lacking within government decision-making. This is particularly the case for girls and children with diverse sexual orientations.
Poverty drives child rights violations including accessing education and health services, child labour, trafficking, abuse, and vulnerability to hazards. Almost half of Cambodians living in poverty are 19 years old or younger. The situation was further exacerbated with COVID-19; SC’s own Assessment of the impact of COVID-19 in 2020 revealed that 84% of surveyed households are having trouble paying for essential items, while children have less dietary diversity and access to food due to high prices and income loss.
We are the world’s largest independent child rights organisation, working in more than 120 countries, and working in Cambodia since 1970. Our programmatic work involves the areas of early childhood care and development, basic education, child rights, child protection, health and nutrition, child poverty, and disaster risk reduction.
What is Save the Children’s Country Strategic Plan (CSP) 2022-24?
The CSP 2022-24 is the result of analyzing evidence, assessing our learning, and consulting with stakeholders about the problems facing children in Cambodia today.
The CSP shows how our skills, resources, partnerships, and expertise will take successful programming to scale, innovate to solve challenges that persist for children and be a voice for child rights in Cambodia.
As a result, 4 strategic goals have been selected, all of which contribute to Save the Children’s global breakthroughs for children – which children survive, learn, and are protected by 2030.
1. Multi-sectoral integrated programming that supports children under 3 to thrive and reach their full potential.
2. Child and gender sensitive, shock responsive social protection for the most vulnerable children and families.
3. Safe, continued and inclusive education for the most marginalized children, adolescents and youth.
4. Children are protected by families, communities and duty bearers from all forms of violence, at home, at school, online and in their community.
Over the last three years (2019-2021), we directly reached 171,210 people, including 116,502 children, and more than 6.7 million indirectly.
In 2021 alone, we reached 140,860 individuals, of which 79,670 were children. We reached more than 2.5 million people indirectly through our campaigns and outreach activities.
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