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Cambodia launches social protection strategy for poor

(Xinhua)

16:40, December 05, 2011

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Monday officially launched the National Social Protection Strategy for the Poor and Vulnerable, aimed at protecting the poorest and most disadvantaged against chronic poverty and hunger, shocks, and destitution, said the government's press release.

The strategy, which will be implemented until 2015, would address the basic needs of the poor and vulnerable in situation of emergency and crisis, said the statement. It would reduce the poverty and vulnerability of children and mothers and enhance their human development.

Also, it would promote the poor to move out of poverty by building human capital and expanding employment opportunities.

The strategy would also promote affordable health care for the poor and vulnerable groups.

Speaking at the launch at the Peace Palace, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen said the country has seen significant progress in reducing poverty rate in last decade--the national poverty rate had dropped from 34.7 percent in 2004 to 30.1 percent in 2007 and to 25.8 percent last year.

"The rate of poverty reduction drops about 1.2 percent per year, " he said. "We hope that Cambodia will be able to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) by reducing the poverty rate to 19.5 percent by 2015."

The premier noticed that despite declining poverty rate, the gaps between the rich and the poor and inequality between rural and urban areas are still challenging issues.

Meanwhile, Douglas Broderick, resident coordinator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to Cambodia, said it was very important and timely to lay out the strategy in protecting Cambodia's most vulnerable, particularly women and children, by providing them access to essential services, especially during an emergency and crisis.

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