Some 1.3M in Cambodia May Fall Back Into Poverty, UNDP Estimates

The number of Cambodians experiencing poverty this year could nearly double to 17.6 percent of the population — sending some 1.3 million people back into poverty — with the unemployment rate increasing almost seven-fold, a new U.N. report says.

While the government has already allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to stimulate the economy, the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) said in its policy briefing released on Thursday that a U.N.-proposed stimulus plan — which focuses on social protections and adds an additional 3.5 percent of GDP in funding on top of the estimated government intervention — would better alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment and improve growth amid the pandemic-induced economic downturn.

The estimated government stimulus is expected to spend the equivalent of 1.9 percent of GDP on social protections and offers tax relief amounting to 0.7 percent of GDP. But it cuts capital schemes to pay for it, by about 3.5 percent of GDP.

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