CAMBODIA: A Landscape Of Land Mines

CAMBODIA (South East Asia)                                 

Population: 14.95 million

Two out of three people in Cambodia are under the age of 25 years old and more than 30% of the population is aged between 10-24 years.

Fertility Rate:  5.9 children/woman (1970s) vs. 2.6 children/woman (2010)

Life Expectancy:  44 years (1970s) vs. 63 years (2010)

Infant mortality:  54.08 deaths / 1000 live births

Male/Female Ratio:  0.94 male  / female

Major Religion:  Buddhism

– Three decades of conflict have left about four to six million land mines and other pieces of unexploded ordnance littering Cambodia, and these continue to injure and kill.  About 45% of villages are contaminated by land mines.  The landmines were placed by different factions that clashed during the Civil War in Cambodia in the 1970s.  They were placed in the whole territory of the country.

 – About six per cent of Cambodia’s population is living with a disability, one fifth of whom have amputations.  The country has some 40,000 amputees, which is the highest percentage of amputees in the world.  One of every 236 Cambodians has lost one or more limbs after stepping on a landmine.

– One fifth of the people with disabilities in Cambodia are children.

– Tuberculosis (TB), malaria and avian influenza are serious concerns in Cambodia.  Approximately two-thirds of all Cambodians carry the TB bacterium, one of the highest rates in the world, and some 13,000 Cambodians die annually from the disease.

– Malnutrition is a serious public health issue because it contributes to an alarming under-five mortality rate of 83 per 1,000 live births.  Over 40% of children under 5 are stunted and nearly 29% are underweight. 

– The first case of HIV infection in Cambodia was reported in 1991.  With 2.8% of its adult population infected, the country has one of the highest HIV infection rates in Asia.  The largest portion of the population infected are female sex workers.  One third of new HIV cases are due to mother-to-child transmission.  About 80,000 people have died of AIDS since 1993. 

– For some women, it can be easier to get an abortion than seek out contraception.  Abortion rates are high as a result, with 56% of Cambodian women aged 15-49 reporting at least one abortion.

 – 35 percent of couples reported using contraceptives.  Since 2001, there has been a “100% condom program” in place, which promoted safe sex.

– 35% of Cambodia’s 55,000 prostitutes are children under the age of 16. 

– Fifty-six percent of Cambodians live on less than $2 a day.


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