The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in South-East Asia. It has boundaries with Thailand in the north-west and west, Laos in the north, Vietnam to the east and south-east and the Gulf of Thailand to the south. Around 17 million people live in Cambodia.
The country is still recovering from a succession of conflicts, which had a devastating effect on the life of Cambodians. It is one of the most land mined countries in the world - since 1970, around 60,000 people have died due to explosions, and many more have been injured; the majority of these are children playing in the fields or herding animals.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Cambodia since 2000.
Despite recent economic growth, about 18% of Cambodians continue to live below the nationally poverty line.
Around 40% of the population works in agriculture. The main agricultural products include rice, rubber, and tapioca. Fishing is also important but yields are projected to decline 40-60% in the near future. Neither fishing and agriculture are not stable sources of income.
Many people also live off tourism, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant that many people were not able to travel. This is now changing slowly.
Recent improvements in health have reduced infant and under-five mortality rates in Cambodia. Likewise, there has been an increase in average life expectancy, though it remains relatively low at 67.5 years for men and 71.9 years for women.
However, the high number of people living with HIV/AIDS poses a new challenge for Cambodia's fragile health system. Around 75,000 people are known to be living with HIV/AIDS. Children living in household affected by HIV/AIDS need extra support.
While the vast majority of people living in urban areas have access to clean drinking water, this is mostly lacking in rural areas. Only 28% of the population of Cambodia are using clean drinking water services.
Seven in ten pre-primary schools do not have access to facilities that include safe water, toilets and ways of preventing the spread of disease.
Children continue to die from diseases that could be preventable through the provision of clean water and the proper management of sewage.