#487Eo, Street 53BT
Group 6, Kbal Tomnub village, Sangkat Boeng Tumpun
Khan Meanchey, Phnom Penh 12351

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Quick Facts

Individuals served in 2018: 115,315

Other facts:

  • Population: Over 16 million
  • Urbanization: 21.2 percent live in cities
  • Life expectancy: 69 years
  • Unemployment rate: 1.6 percent
  • Population living below poverty line: 17.7 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

Based on a 2013 official population survey, it is estimated that at least 10 million Cambodians are in need of decent housing. Throughout the country, about 2 million houses require critical improvement to meet minimum quality standards. Under the Cambodia National Housing Policy, an additional 1.1 million houses will be needed by 2030 as a result of a population increase and rural urban migration. Out of the two million residents in the capital Phnom Penh, about 25,000 people are living in over 340 slum communities that lack access to basic services and secure tenure. Often the most vulnerable have to deal with corruption and suffer forced evictions due to a lack of secure land tenure.

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.

Housing for the most vulnerable groups

In Cambodia, 2.8 million people or 17.7 percent of the population still live in extreme poverty without any social safety net. For the past 15 years, Habitat Cambodia has been working in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang to provide holistic housing solutions and help secure land tenure for the homeless, informal settlers, those affected by HIV/ AIDS, people living with disabilities, older persons, street children, and orphans. A community-led total sanitation program in Siem Reap, implemented over six years ago, saw water and sanitation facilities being built along with the promotion of behavioral change. In Battambang, Habitat Cambodia works with the local and provincial government to secure land tenure for informal settlers living on state land. After each family has received a land certificate, Habitat Cambodia assists with new home construction and infrastructure projects such as roads and drainage systems.

Advocacy and volunteer engagement

The National Housing Policy was enacted by the Cambodian government in 2014 but it has yet to reach low- and middle-income families. Under Habitat’s Solid Ground campaign, Habitat Cambodia is advocating for the effective implementation of the National Housing Policy to facilitate access to improved housing for the growing number of urban residents. Habitat Cambodia also rallies volunteers to raise awareness. International volunteers contribute on Global Village builds while local volunteers have been supporting the annual Habitat Young Leaders Build campaign in advocacy, fund raising and construction since 2012.

Disaster risk reduction and response

Through collaborating with government agencies, Habitat Cambodia aims to promote disaster-resilient house construction among local communities and the building sector. The community-led Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness trains families to better prepare for disasters. Habitat Cambodia also responds to disasters through the distribution of emergency shelter kits and reconstruction through the “Build Back Better” approach.

Market development

Since 2012, 40,463 families have gained access to housing finance loans through Habitat Cambodia’s partnerships with major MFIs such as Kredit, LOLC (Cambodia) plc., First Finance, Sovannaphoum and Hattha Kaksekar Limited. Since 2014, Habitat Cambodia’s MFI partners are also provided with grants that were initially funded through the Swiss Capacity Development Fund to build their capacity and develop their products.

Travel and Build

Volunteer with Habitat abroad through our Global Village program.

Stories and news

Weaving a better future

Senghouch’s relationship with her husband has improved after they moved into a spacious home where she can continue her weaving livelihood. What is more, her children are healthier.

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Inner peace

Free from the fear of eviction, Bunthoeun and his wife feel  secure in their own home.

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Standing tall

Despite her difficulties and health issue, Kimchheng can build a better life with her son in a decent, secure home.

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