Norwegian People's Aid has two active programmes in Cambodia. The Humanitarian Disarmament programme finds and destroys unexploded bombs left over from the war era, while the Development and Humanitarian Cooperation programme focuses on democratisation, human rights, and land and resource rights.
Even though Cambodia has been peaceful since the fall of Khmer Rouge, most Cambodians still struggle to make their ends meet. Inequalities are present - there is a huge difference between rich and poor. The space for civil society is under pressure and ordinary people experience losing their land because of economic land concessions and commercial development projects.
Cambodia remains one of the countries in the world most heavily impacted by landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW). Internal and regional conflict between the mid-1960s to late 1990s left behind an extensive amount of landmine and unexploded cluster munitions that continue to pose a risk to people’s lives.
Norwegian People’s Aid supports local organizations working for increased participation in the political debate.
Cambodia was the first country in which NPA established a demining programme, beginning in 1992 in response to the large number Cambodian refugees repatriating over the border from Thailand who were being killed or injured by landmines.
During the Vietnam War, Cambodia was subjected to extremely extensive carpet-bombing from 1965-1973.
The Khmer Rouge emerged as a major power in 1975 and went on to carrying out the Cambodian genocide from 1975 until 1979, where 1.8 million people died from starvation, forced labor, and mass execution.
In January 1979, the Vietnamese forces took the capital Phnom Penh and Khmer Rouge fled to the Thai border.
In October 1991, the Paris Peace Accords were signed, paving way for an UN peacekeeping mission.
In May 1993, the first democratic election was held.
The sixth democratic election was held in July 2018, with the Cambodia People Party (CPP) winning all 125 seats in the parliament.