Social Inclusion and Governance


Equitable Public Expenditure for Children

Social Protection for the Vulnerable

Data and Evidence Generation

Sub-National Empowerment

Children with Disabilities


Equitable Public Expenditure for Children

Prevention among young people
© UNICEF Cambodia/2013

According to the Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey, child poverty rate stood at 23 per cent in 2013—higher than the 19 per cent for adult members of the population. In 2010, a study conducted to analyse people’s deprivation levels in five dimensions of basic rights—heath, nutrition, water, sanitation and housing—found that 67 per cent of children under the age of 5 were deprived in at least two dimensions, and 40 per cent in at least three dimensions.

Children facing poverty and with limited access to social services are deprived of the opportunity to fully develop during their formative years. This can have a lifelong impact on children and create a cycle of poverty that is passed down from one generation to the next. Equitable budget expenditure can ensure that all children have a fair chance in life to reach their full potential and contribute to the growth and development of the whole society.

In recent years, the Royal Government of Cambodia has continued to increase efforts for equitable public budget expenditure in social sectors. The newly initiated programme-based budgeting, which requires ministries to develop separate budgets for specific programme areas, such as primary school education and nutrition, is one such effort. The Government’s transition to programme-based budgeting is expected to improve accountability and budget expenditure for children at national and sub-national levels.

UNICEF works with the Government to support social sector ministries to formulate, execute and monitor programme-based budgeting, with a focus on equitable budget expenditure for children—ensuring that more budget is allocated to children’s issues and that it prioritizes spending on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

What we do

  • Provide guidance and technical assistance to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to support social sector ministries to develop programme-based budgets
  • Support Parliamentary Committees of the National Assembly and civil society to strengthen their knowledge on social sector budgeting
  • Generate evidence on the economic benefits of investing in children





National targets by 2015

• At least 90 per cent of sexually active young people aged 15-24 used a condom when they last had sex.
• At least 60 per cent of young men and women (aged 15-24) correctly identify ways of preventing sexual transmission of HIV and reject major misconceptions about HIV transmission.


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