Cambodia is a country of 12 million people located in the heart of Southeast Asia, sandwiched between a powerful Vietnam and a prosperous Thailand. Today it is a peaceful country however, in the late 1970s Cambodia was the site of one of the world's most destructive episodes of genocide. This quiet Kingdom was destabilized by the fighting in neighboring Vietnam in the late 1960s, leading to the emergence of the ruthless Khmer Rouge in 1975. In the following three years the Khmer Rouge caused the death of nearly two million Cambodians through torture, execution, forced starvation and disease. It took twenty-years and a major United Nations peace effort for the country to return to some semblance of stability. Having lost the most educated and capable citizens to genocide, Cambodia remains the poorest nation in Southeast Asia, and is handicapped by a lack of the human capacity required to function as a civil society.

Cambodia Today

To an average tourist Cambodia is a peaceful, but undeveloped country with pleasant people, comfortable accommodations and majestic ancient temples. Beneath this veneer is a society plagued by debilitating poverty, malnutrition, diseases long banished elsewhere in the world, sex trafficking, the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate in Asia, and widespread corruption. Cambodians struggle for survival every day against seemingly insurmountable odds.

While the government has failed to meet the needs of the people and the international community has long since forgotten the "crisis in Cambodia," a few individuals, both Cambodians and foreigners have stepped forward to initiate projects, both large and small, that are starting to make the difference between life and death and hope and despair for Cambodians. They are Building Cambodia one life at a time.

Learn more about Cambodia

Year in Review 2007-2008

Year in Review 2006-2007


CIA World Factbook

BBC News Country Profile

The Cambodian Daily

The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian Association of Illinois
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