Older People In Cambodia

Older people in Cambodia are survivors of three decades of conflict. In Cambodia, one out of four older people live below the poverty line ($1.25 per day) and over 80% of older people live in rural areas with limited infrastructure and resources.

Older people of Cambodia face struggles such as being unable to read and write, especially older women. Many older people are vulnerable to health problems associated with aging that can, if not attended to cause disability.

Older people can become isolated and left behind in the village by younger generations, especially if their children are required to migrate for work or if the older person is too unhealthy to leave their home.

In Cambodia, there is currently no pension or other form of social benefit system for the general working population. So unless an older person receives the support of their family, there isn’t financial security when they can no longer work. Due to the lack of financial security for older people, they have no choice but to continue to work for income; generally in manual-intensive jobs such as agriculture, running small convenience stalls and selling produce at markets. 30% of older farmers in Cambodia are aged over 70 years.

Many countries around the world are experiencing an aging population and Cambodia is no exception. In 2015, the number of people in Cambodia aged 60 and above was estimated to be 1.3 million; this is 8.3% of the total population. The number of older people is forecast to reach 5 million by 2050, increasing to 21% of the total population (provided by National Institute of Statistics 2013). Yet older people in Cambodia are a largely neglected group, in terms of both their needs and appreciation of their valued contributions to community.