Entrepreneurs du Monde's programs in Cambodia

Cambodia's geographical, historical and economic setting

15 M inhabitants

143rd HDI ranking

63 years old life expectancy

Cambodia is a south-east Asian country, whose capital is Phnom Penh. The country is bordered by Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It has three large mountain ranges: the Elephant Mountains, the Cardamom Mountains and the Annamite Range. Cambodia’s geography is defined by the Mekong River and the Tonlé Sap. A significant part of the country lies either at, or below, the level of the rivers.

Cambodia is the successor state of the Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled almost all of the Indochina Peninsula between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries.

Since the end of the 1990s and the country’s return to peace, Cambodia has enjoyed a period of strong economic growth. This growth reached as much as 10% in certain years, with a lull during the economic crisis at the end of the 2000s.

However, numerous development indicators still fall significantly below the regional average (high infant mortality, low literacy, GDP per capita of $773 per year).

Furthermore, 75% of households are not connected to the electricity grid so 95% of them are still relying on traditional fuels. Rural and suburban populations use rudimentary cooking or lighting equipment which is cheap to purchase, but performs badly in terms of energy efficiency.

Entrepreneurs du Monde in Cambodia

In 2006, Entrepreneurs du Monde created Chamroeun to operate initially in the capital, and then in the provinces. Entrepreneurs du Monde maintains a close involvement in the institution’s governance, to ensure in particular that it continues to work in accordance with its founding social microfinance principles.

Since 2013, Entrepreneurs du Monde has also implemented an access to energy program, Pteah Baitong, to maximize people’s access to modern and economical energy solutions.

Initiatives are in place to bring together microfinance and energy programmes, in order to ensure their strategic and operational coherence.

In Cambodia, Entrepreneurs du Monde has created a social microfinance program, Chamroeun, and an access to energy program, Pteah Baitong.