Why Cambodia’s Poverty Statistics Dispute Matters

How many Cambodians are living in poverty? According to the government’s figures, using income as the only indicator, poverty stands at 13.5 percent, a considerable feat given that it was in the realm of 40 percent only two decades ago. It is also something the government regularly boasts about – indeed, the narrative goes that because the ruling party, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) led by Hun Sen, which just secured a new term in elections this year, has radically improved living standards, blind eyes should be turned as it becomes more repressive and dictatorial.

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