Individuals served in FY20: 82,920
- Through new construction –930
- Through incremental building –30,475
- Through repairs –395
- Through market development –51,035
- Through civil society –85
Volunteers hosted in FY20: 1,915
- Population: 15.6 million
- Life expectancy: 75.5 years
- Unemployment rate: 1.3 percent
- Population living below poverty line: 12.9 percent
Source: World Factbook
Habitat for Humanity in Cambodia
While poverty has decreased significantly, many Cambodian families are hovering just above the poverty line of US$1.25 a day. Nearly three quarters of the population still live on less than US$3 a day, based on World Bank’s data. Poverty is largely concentrated in the rural areas though urban poverty is on the rise. Habitat for Humanity Cambodia seeks to break the cycle of poverty through safe, durable, affordable housing solutions. Since 2003, Habitat Cambodia has enabled over 22,000 families to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.
Housing needs in Cambodia
Driven by garment exports and tourism, Cambodia’s economy is among the fastest-growing in the world. Having reached lower middle-income status in 2015, it aspires to be an upper middle-income country by 2030. While the poverty rate has continued to fall, the World Bank said about 4.5 million people are vulnerable to falling back into poverty when exposed to economic and other external shocks. Based on a 2019 population census, more than 62% of Cambodian households live in one-room units. Cambodia needs to build an additional 1 million homes by 2030 in order to meet the demands of a booming population, according to the government.
How Habitat addresses the need in Cambodia
Habitat for Humanity Cambodia works with a diverse group of international and local non-governmental organizations, micro-finance institutions, corporate partners, and local and national authorities. Its holistic approach to housing includes:
Unique knowledge as well as valuable data and research on the housing sector for the poorest segments of the population and low-income families;
Technical expertise in the provision of housing solutions for the most vulnerable individuals including safe and affordable house designs as well as water and sanitation interventions;
An innovative approach combining market development and experience in housing finance and housing support services; advocacy for secure land tenure; and pro-poor housing solutions in collaboration with other NGOs and community-based organizations.
Improving lives through housing
Habitat Cambodia partners with low-income families and vulnerable groups such as people living with disabilities and older persons to build safe, affordable housing that improves health, education and livelihood opportunities. The durable and sustainable homes feature innovations that focus on water and energy efficiency as well as materials conservation.
Climate change adaptation
Disaster risk reduction initiatives are integrated into Habitat Cambodia’s housing programs with an emphasis on primary stakeholder participation and community-based methodologies. Through the design and implementation of adaptation mechanisms, urban and rural communities can be better prepared for disasters and cope with the impact of climate change.
WASH and livelihood improvements
Habitat takes a holistic approach to improving water, sanitation, and hygiene services for marginalized communities living in high-poverty areas that are also prone to flooding and drought. Through livelihood and enterprise training, Habitat Cambodia provides participants with valuable skills that they can use to earn an income as well as impart to others.
Advocacy and volunteer engagement
We advocate to improve housing policies and systems and implement projects to test existing laws to eliminate barriers to adequate, affordable housing. Habitat engages volunteers and mobilizes the youth to join our advocacy efforts in highlighting the less visible but critical aspects of housing such as laws, regulations, systems and rules about land and the built environment.
Through the MicroBuild Fund, Habitat invests in local financial institutions to provide savings and credit products along with construction technical assistance to help low-income families repair or build homes incrementally.