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Launch of the 2024 Regional Human Development Report: "Making our Future – New Directions for Human Development in the Asia-Pacific" in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, 7 March 2024: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is pleased to announce the launch, on 7 March 2024 at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, of the 2024 Regional Human Development Report for Asia and the Pacific, titled "Making our Future – New Directions for Human Development in the Asia-Pacific," with a Cambodia focus.

The 2024 Regional Human Development Report examines how the Asia-Pacific region can renew and redefine human development in the face of complexities and uncertainties. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the risks and uncertainties of the future and offers policy recommendations for countries in the region, including Cambodia, to drive bold action and promote positive change.

The Asia-Pacific region, one of the fastest growing and most dynamic regions in the world, has made significant strides in improving human development. However, persistent disparities, both within and between countries, continue to be a challenge, including in Cambodia. The recent COVID-19 pandemic along with other disruptive factors, such as extreme climatic events, the cost-of-living crisis and geopolitical tensions, have further compounded disparities.

Cambodia has achieved remarkable progress in promoting human development. Between 1990 and 2021, the country's income per capita increased fourfold, life expectancy rose by more than 14 years, and mean years of schooling grew from 2.4 to 5.1 years on average. As a result, Cambodia's Human Development Index (HDI) increased by 56.9 percent, placing the country in the medium human development category.

“Human development is essential for socioeconomic progress as evidenced by the trajectory of developed countries. Human development places people at the core of economic thinking and acknowledges that development is more than economic growth or a mere income measure,” said Ms. Alissar Chaker, Resident Representative of UNDP Cambodia. “As Cambodia gears up to implement the Pentagonal Strategy, it stands to gain from a more integrated development approach that puts people first, delivers smart, inclusive and sustainable growth avoiding irreversible trade-offs between economic competitiveness, social cohesion or natural assets protection.”

H.E. Vongsey Vissoth, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of the Office of Council of Ministers (OCM), said, “Cambodia is on the right track to promote human capital development with adaptability and agility for both public and private sector with high political commitment. Yet, it requires more concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including development partners, and effective central coordination mechanism to ensure its effective and efficient implementation and strong monitoring and evaluation system on the strategy, policy and plan that have been laid out to ensure that we reach the desired objectives and goals.”

The launch event brings together senior government officials, development experts, private sector representatives, and civil society to reflect on the insights and implications of the 2024 Regional Human Development Report for Cambodia against the backdrop of evolving regional and global dynamics.

UNDP remains committed to supporting a people-centred development in Cambodia working hand in hand with national and international partners to implement the Pentagonal Strategy and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

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