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The first National Population Policy of Cambodia has been formulated with the full committment and dedication of the entire Government led by the Ministry of Planning with active participation of all stakeholders including Government ministries, research institutes, donors and civil society organizations.

Cambodia currently has the highest population growth rate (at 2.49%) among ASEAN nations, except for Laos. At the same time the country has experienced a substantial fertility decline since the 1960s. Between the early 1980s and late 1990s the average number of children born to a woman decreased from six to four.

Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in South-East Asia. Access to good quality health care and primary and secondary education for the large cohorts of rural poor is very limited. Poor coverage of critical child health services is one of the factors contributing to high infant mortality rates and high maternal mortality ratios.

The Royal Government recognizes the central role of reproductive health services, empowerment of women through equal access to education and public office, and the link between poverty and rapid population growth.