More about the country
With its violent recent history, it's no surprise that Cambodia is still very much a country trying to get back on its feet again. It's 40 years since the post-Vietnam War brutal Khmer Rouge communist regime led by Pol Pot came to an end and the horrors of the 'killing fields' were finally consigned to history. But the scars of millions of deaths and a failed feudal economy that caused widespread severe poverty, have lasted for decades.
FOCUS ON CAMBODIA
All western medicine and technology had been banned by the Khmer Rouge, so it's little wonder that Cambodian society was thrown back in time. Almost inevitably, in the chaos that followed the eventual end of Khmer Rouge rule in 1979, corruption became deep-rooted across the country whilst the government and people struggled to redefine their future.
A new dawnThe country now follows an open market system, with clothing manufacture representing the major share of the country's exports. Agriculture remains the country's internal life source, with main crops being rice, rubber, maize, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, soya beans and sesame seeds.
Cambodia is now also firmly on the tourist map, with growing numbers of world travellers visiting its shores.
A time of rebuildingToday, the Cambodian economy is growing again. But the problem is that unequal distribution of economic gains combined with the fact that so many rural communities live in very remote areas, has left many Cambodians still struggling to get work and access essential services.
This means there is still a lot of work to be done to help the most vulnerable, especially poor children. Foreign aid is still very much needed to help the overall economy maintain its recovery, but this aid tends to be centralized. The poorest rural communities seldom feel the effects of this aid.
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