Microcredit in Cambodia: Why is There So Much Support for a Failed Poverty Reduction Model?

Critical examination of Cambodia’s microfinance sector

This publication comments on the huge and hugely profitable microcredit sector in Cambodia, what specific problems the microcredit sector has created for the poor, and what might be done to change things in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to build a genuinely pro-poor 'developmental' local financial sector. 

Three especially damaging trajectories associated with Cambodia's microcredit sector are:

  • A 'no-growth' low productivity economic structure built on an 'extractivist' logic.
  • Reckless lending strategies that have created dangerous levels of over-indebtedness in the poorest communities.
  • The widespread use of land titles as collateral which has inevitably led to the growing loss of land by the poor through coerced informal sales.

About this Publication

By Milford Bateman