A New Research on The Elderly
A new feature is appearing in Cambodia’s demographics: its aging population is increasing while its birth rate is declining. According to current figures, Cambodia's elderly population accounts for approximately 1.3 million (about 8% of total population). The number is forecast to reach 11% by 2030 and 21% (about 5 million) by 2050.
The rise of the aging population reflects a positive trend of social well-being in the country. However, there has been very little research done on the elderly in Cambodia, which is why Oxfam decided to fund research in this area.
In 2018, Voice through Oxfam in Cambodia supported HelpAge Cambodia and the National Institute of Social Affairs (NISA) to do research on the “Needs and Challenges of Older People.”
Ms. Sokha Srey, Voice Grant/Partnership Specialist of Oxfam said: “The research aimed to gain an understanding of the situation, the challenges and needs of the elderly, especially elderly women and women with disabilities. There is a lack of research in Cambodia on the elderly, specifically on their situation and challenges, studies that could make a significant contribution to developing relevant policies. This lack of information can lead to a lack of attention and support to the elderly.”
The study was conducted in five provinces across Cambodia. It sheds light on the situation of the elderly, focusing on a number of significant aspects, including health, economics, community support and policy gaps.
The study found that there was a considerable number of challenges that the elderly face, including a high tendency to experience depression and suffer from non-communicable diseases. Poverty is also a main issue that bars the elderly from access to health care as they generally have limited opportunities for gainful employment and there is no pension provision from the government.
Noy Sytha, a 68-year-old volunteer at CamASEAN Youth’s Future, showed his personal interest in the workshop, saying: “I am glad and excited to know the government is working along with civil society agencies to support the elderly. This is encouraging and brings hope to seniors. As an elderly person, I truly appreciate that.”
This research will serve as a useful resource for government, local and international non-governmental organizations, as well as other researchers as it is a foundation piece addressing the issues faced by senior people in Cambodia.
Download the full research HERE