Poverty

Phnom Penh’s informal recyclers

Sleeping in a cart used for collecting recyclables (probably not just a nap; many collectors do most of their work at night.)

Some of Phnom Penh’s poorest residents make a living pushing their carts around the city’s streets, gathering soda cans, plastic bottles, and anything else they can sell for recycling. This short video shows some of these hard-working people going about their daily business.

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Confessions of a troubled traveler

Confessions of a troubled traveler

Cambodia is a country of glaring inequalities.  There is certainly wealth here, though its existence is a lot more obvious than its dubious sources. Palatial homes of some of the country’s economic elite dot the Phnom Penh landscape, and nowhere else in the world have I seen so many Lexus SUVs. At the other end of the economic spectrum are the poorest of Cambodians; according to the United Nations Development Program, nearly 26 percent of Cambodia’s 15 million residents live on less than $1.25 a day (2007 data.)  And the gap between rich and poor is increasing rapidly. (It’s worth noting that Cambodia’s Human Development Index puts it 124th out of 169 countries ranked by the UNDP; it is in the “Medium Human Development”...

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