Cambodia has experienced rapid urbanization over the past twenty years with much of the growth focused in Phnom Penh. However, despite the recent constructions of skyscrapers, condominiums, gated communities and vast satellite cities, there are still over 277 vulnerable urban poor communities dispersed throughout Phnom Penh who are not benefiting from this development. These communities lack adequate housing and infrastructure, access to water and sanitation and land tenure security.

Adequate housing is a fundamental human right of every woman, man, youth and child to gain and sustain a safe and secure home and community in which to live in peace and dignity and if cities are to transform it is essential that no one is left behind. Every individual deserves access to housing, schools, healthcare, jobs, sanitation systems, and safe communities.

October 31st is World Cities Day, a day recognizing the importance of enhancing cooperation among countries and cities in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development. It is a day for raising awareness on urban poor communities and the challenges they face on a regular basis while the city around them continues to prosper.