ActionAid began operating in Cambodia in 1999 and launched a full country programme in 2004. Working in a country debilitated by a history of war means that our challenges are many, such as a lack of infrastructure and transitional governance. Using a rights-based approach, our work focuses on food security and land rights, women and health, rural and urban poverty, HIV and AIDS, and advocacy training.
Rural communities — especially those with high numbers of internally displaced people, those in post-conflict areas, and those in provinces that receive less assistance from other aid organisations — are a major target of our work, since they account for 90% of Cambodia’s poor. More than 4.5 million Cambodians live on less than one dollar a day.
Our strategy is to partner with local NGOs to help form and strengthen rural grassroots organisations. This gives poor and marginalised people solidarity and a forum in which they can assert their rights, such as the right to full participation in decisionmaking and the right to indigenous and natural resources and protect their livelihoods.