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Recovering from decades of conflict, Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia's poorest countries.
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Over 9 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in Cambodia.


people in Cambodia don't have access to safe water.


Over 1,000 Cambodian children die each year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Despite a growing tourism industry, Cambodia remains one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia. More than half the population lacks adequate sanitation.

The crisis

Cambodia is one of the least urbanized countries in Southeast Asia with over 80% of people living in rural areas, many in extreme poverty. It also has the lowest sanitation coverage – just one third of the country – and the second lowest water supply coverage in the region, with 4 million people having no access to safe water. As a result, over 1,000 children die each year from diarrheal diseases.

Cambodia has had a tumultuous recent past. Because of the devastation wrought by the Khmer Rouge regime, an entire generation of professionals was lost, creating major shortages of skilled engineers, technicians and health professionals. The first generation of post-conflict graduates is now emerging and there is an excellent opportunity to support these young people to build skills and drive their country's development.

Addressing this crisis is essential to Cambodia escaping its reliance on outside aid and developing economically. Without access to safe water and proper toilets close to home, people cannot go to school or work to support their families.

Our approach

In Cambodia, we work with the Government to achieve its objective of reaching universal access by 2025.

We identify the poorest and most vulnerable groups in the country, such as persons with a disability, older people, people living in challenging communities or in informal urban settlements, and support these people to find solutions to overcome the barriers that prevent them from accessing safe water and sanitation and practicing hygiene.

Click here to read more about the work we are doing together with people with a disability.

Click here to read more about our work with urban communities in Cambodia.

Click here to read more about our work with people living in challenging environments.

We will develop innovative programs to build up a cadre of professionals in Cambodia with the skills needed to reach universal access to sanitation and safe water in this generation.

Our impact

Our programme in Cambodia was established in 2014.

For the first time a national action plan exists for providing safe water and sanitation for everyone in Cambodia. Over the last two years the Government and civil society have increased focus on reaching persons with a disability and older people through their programs. Greater emphasis is being placed on providing water supply and sanitation and preventing infections within healthcare facilities. WaterAid and partners contribute to making these, and other changes, happen.

Click here to read more about our work in healthcare facilities in Cambodia.

WaterAid has been working with EpicArts to use the arts in Cambodia to communicate messages about inclusion. Read the blog post and watch the films here

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