PHNOM PENH, July 29 (Xinhua): The poverty rate for Cambodia has dropped to 17.8% in 2020, from nearly 40% in 2009, a senior official said here on Friday.
"During the last decade, the poverty rate declined by 1.6 percentage points per year, driven substantially by rising labor, especially wage, and earnings," Theng Pagnathun, director general of planning at the Ministry of Planning, said at a press conference.
He said the gradual fall was in line with the government's commitment to reducing at least 1% of the poverty rate per annum.
The official said Cambodia's Covid-19 cash transfer program, launched in June 2020, had significantly benefited some 2.8 million people from 707,000 poor and vulnerable households so far.
Citing a United Nations Development Program-Cambodia's new report released on Wednesday, he said the program helped reduce Cambodia's poverty rates in the last two years.
Cambodia has a population of over 16 million people. According to the World Bank, the national poverty line in the South-East Asian nation is 10,951 riel, or US$2.70 a day.
"Under the new poverty line, about 18% of the population is identified as poor," the World Bank said.
Poverty rates vary considerably by area, the bank said, adding that the poverty rate is the lowest in the capital Phnom Penh at 4.2%, in other urban areas at 12.6%, and the highest in rural areas at 22.8%.