Why does Gecko support Cambodia?
The once cultural centre of an entire region is now one of the poorest countries in the world. It depends on international help. The state budget is financed by about 50 percent from abroad. As the country is agriculturally shaped, about 70 percent of the population also works in agriculture. Rice plays a very important role, but it is the main food. Every third person lives in poverty, around 45 percent of the children are chronically malnourished. Cambodia is about half the size of Germany with just 14.5 million inhabitants. The Khmer people represents most of the population. Besides they still live Chinese, Vietnamese and other ethnic minorities. The Cambodians are 95% Buddhists. Religion plays a visible role in everyday life.
Cambodia today still bears the heavy legacy of its recent past. For four years, the Khmer Rouge, with its leader Pol Pot, waged a regular war against its own people, with an estimated 1.7 million people losing their lives. The social structures, as well as valuable knowledge from the centuries-old culture, were lost. The educated part of the people was persecuted and wiped out. Even after this difficult period there was a civil war, which led to the further destruction of large parts of the country. The reconstruction of the state, along with justice and the economy, is still progressing slowly. Since 1998, Cambodia has been relatively peaceful, which is a great achievement after 30 years of war in all poverty, lawlessness and corruption.
Apart from tourism and the textile industry, the country has hardly any competitive industries. The risks to development include, among other things, severe weather, floods, corruption, infrastructure deficiencies and high energy costs. The average weekly working time is 50 hours, the monthly wage is between 60 dollars and 80 dollars, which is usually not enough for life.
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