I fly to Cambodia in three days so I thought I’d share a few facts about the Country to help you (and I) understand a bit about it’s history.
- More than two and a half million people in the country live on less than $1.20 per day.
- Cambodia has the largest population of amputees in the world caused by landmines. Over 64,000 casualties related to landmines have been recorded since 1979. Almost half of the landmines are yet to be removed. It’s estimated there are still 4 million landmines still to be cleared in Cambodia.
- Cambodia is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia with an average growth rate of more than 6% in the last ten years.
- Cambodia’s flag is the only one in the world to feature a building, Angkor Wat.
- Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious monument, covering an area of 162.6 hectares.
- During the Khmer Rouge era, there was an entire generation of young Cambodians who were uneducated and illiterate due to the closure of all schools. Educated people and teachers were treated with suspicion or executed. After the end of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1978, only 5,000 of the 20,000 teachers across primary, secondary and university levels from 1970 remained alive. The education system was rebuilt from scratch, with the new system based loosely on the Vietnamese education system.
- The value of education is low amongst the general populace. The value of money rates more highly and so many children work instead of going to school.
- According to the Cambodia 2001 Child Labour Survey, sponsored by the ILO, it was estimated that there were about 1,516,363 children aged 5-14 who could be considered “working children” (44.8% of children in this age group).
- Most Cambodians don’t celebrate their birthdays and many of the older ones don’t even know how old they are.
- Because of the genocide of the ‘70s up to 63% of Cambodia’s population is under thirty.