The Macro Challenges in Cambodia’s Microfinance Sector

In August, two local Cambodian organizations, Licadho and Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) published Collateral Damage: Land Loss and Abuses in Cambodia’s Microfinance Sector, a report about the dangerous growth of the country’s microfinance sector. It spotlighted an issue that researchers have been warning about for years.

A report like this wouldn’t ordinarily stir up the Cambodian government, but it is increasingly sensitive to claims that Cambodians are over-indebted, and to suggestions that its poverty-reduction record may, in fact, be exaggerated.

The government response that followed was no surprise. For instance, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan called it “fake news,” and “not professional and objective because they only surveyed 28 families.”

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