The history of Cambodia is marked by war and the terror regime of the Khmer Rouge. Only in 1999 did both come to an end. Since then, Cambodia has achieved significant progress in development, but it has been severely affected by the consequences of the climate crisis. The population experiences these consequences directly, because approximately 70 per cent of people make their living from agriculture. 

Geographic location. The project regions of Caritas Switzerland are shaded in. © Caritas Switzerland

Many Cambodians, particularly in the north-east, are leaving the country because they cannot see a future for themselves. The majority migrates to neighbouring Thailand. Caritas Switzerland has been active in Cambodia since 2001 with the aim of improving the population/s future prospects. The income of the poorest is increased, rural communities are supported in adapting to climate change, and safe migration routes are promoted.  

Overwiev in figures

Sources: Human Development Report, UNESCO, UNFPA (as of 2022) 

  • Total population: 17,2 million 
  • Prosperity indicator (total 191 states): rank 146 
  • Gross National Income per capita: USD 4’079 
  • Life expectancy at birth: 70 years 
  • Child mortality: 2% 
  • Literacy rate (age 15 and over): 81% 
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 0,9 tons 

Caritas projects in the country 

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Caritas Switzerland on site

Header image: Caritas promotes safe migration with education and awareness-raising activities. © Khan Bhuntan