We’re in Cambodia, giving children and young people equal opportunity to reach their potential.
Did you know that Cambodia has one of the youngest populations in Southeast Asia with one third of its citizens under 15 years old? When they have access to quality healthcare, education and a safe, nurturing environment, today’s children have enormous potential to build a better life for themselves and their country. We believe this is possible.
UNICEF teams have been in Cambodia for over 70 years and we were one of the first organisations to return after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, leading the emergency response while addressing the many challenges children and their families face; malnutrition, low vaccination rates, violence, both physical and emotional, and lack of access to quality education and safe water and hygiene facilities.
Alongside our partners, we’re working on long-term development programs focusing on investing in the early years, keeping mums and their babies healthy, protecting children from harm, and unleashing the potential of Cambodia’s young people so that can thrive.
7 in 10
Pre-primary schools in Cambodia do not have access to WASH facilities.
1 in 2
Children have experienced severe beating, while one in 20 have been sexually assaulted.
Cambodia’s many challenges
The children of Cambodia face many challenges, often multiple of these at once. In education, children are struggling to stay developmentally on track with 25 per cent of children in Grade three unable to write a single word and 55 per cent of teens dropping out of school by the time they turn 17 years old.
Malnutrition rates among children under five are some of the highest in the region – caused by improper feeding, unsafe water and sanitation, poverty, and lack of education. Violence is also a daily reality for a lot of children, many who are abused, trafficked, forced to work, and separated from their families.
How we’re protecting the rights of children in Cambodia
Over the years, we have successfully piloted new approaches to accelerate positive change for children and their families. Our work in Cambodia is only possible thanks to the generous support of the Australian public and the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
children received nutrition screening and treatment services during 2021 and 2022.
children and adolescents were reached with mental health resources in 2021 and 2022.
children were supported with child protection services in 2021 and 2022.
Meet Mr. Hen, a health care volunteer in northeast Cambodia
Mr. Hen has been serving his community as a healthcare worker for more than 20 years. In his community, many families struggle to afford food and access transport.
“I remember that a lot of children used to die, especially the littlest ones under five,” says Mr. Hen. “But last year, there was not a single death here, and that is a tremendous change.”
Thirty-two per cent of children under five in Cambodia are stunted, meaning their growth and development is impaired and they have a low height-for-age, an indication of undernutrition.
"There are a thousand families, so that's a lot of children we can help," says Mr. Hen. "Eating well, drinking well, and living well, that's what we are trying to teach them."
In Cambodia, we're making a difference in:
Improving health service delivery so families can access high quality maternal and child health care.
Delivering high-impact nutrition interventions to prevent, identify and treat acute chronic malnutrition.
Ensuring a lifetime of learning, from early learning centres to empowering teens to stay in school.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene services in schools and health centre.
Providing the knowledge and skills to eliminate harmful practices, violence and abuse towards children.
Help the children of Cambodia
By donating today, you can help children like Namphung to achieve his dream of one day becoming a police officer.
The impact of our work
Every child has the right to be healthy, educated, and live safe from harm.
29 November 2021
The incredible change Mr. Hen witnessed after 20 years of supporting malnourished children
“I remember that a lot of children used to die, especially the littlest ones under five,” says Mr. Hen, a health care worker serving his community for more than 20 years.
2 September 2021
Why education is about so much more than reading and writing
It has been almost two years since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out globally.
20 October 2020
The classroom offers hope for children in Cambodia
“When school closed, I really missed it, I just wanted to go back... I’m much happier now, knowing I can learn again. In fact, I want to become a teacher to pass on knowledge to others,” says Saev, 12.
6 October 2020
3 inspiring teachers who go the extra mile, literally
Millions of children around the world are missing out on school because of poverty, conflict and now COVID-19. Without a quality education, these children face greater barriers to earning potential and employment later in life.