Shortfalls in the budgeted funding for agriculture, health
and education will hurt many of Cambodia’s
poor, critics of the 2009 budget say.
Although 80 percent of the population lives in rural,
agricultural areas, only 1.7 percent of the $1.9 billion budget has been set
aside for the Ministry of Agriculture. Only 10.9 percent of the budget will go
to the Ministry of Health, and only 16.1 percent will go to the Ministry of
By comparison, defense and security will get 19.5 percent,
including a salary increase of the military and police.
Opposition lawmakers and aid organizations said the
government should bolster its funding in sectors that will help the poor. Human
Rights Party President Kem Sokha said his party will not support the proposed