THE PHNOM PENH SURVEY: A Study on Urban Poor Settlements in Phnom Penh

In the decades after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, former residents, refugees, internally
displaced persons (IDPs) and rural migrants repopulated a Phnom Penh that had been deserted since
1975. The Vietnamese-backed government at the time allowed people to occupy buildings on a “firstcome
first-served basis” with people in the new civil service taking central locations near their ministries
and the police and military snatching up the best housing. Latecomers and the poor then began to
create the many low-income settlements in the city starting in the late 1980s. People mainly settled in
the center of the city, on rooftops, roadsides, along riverbanks, close to main markets and by the train
station. Phnom Penh has continued to grow since then, with 7 Khans (districts) expanded to 8 Khans in
2009 and to 9 Khans in 2011. In 2013 Phnom Penh’s 4 inner Khans include Doun Penh, Chamkarmon, Toul
Kork and 7 Makara while the 5 outer Khans are Meanchey, Russey Keo, Sensok, Dangkor and Porsenchey.
Approximately 1.6 million people lived in these 9 Khans of the city by 2013, and the Municipality of
Phnom Penh (MPP) estimates up to a quarter of the city’s residents to be poor.

You can find the report here.

Contact for more information:
Mr. Sao Kosal Acting Executive Director and Technical Programme Manager
Tel : (+855) 17 555 887

Ms. Jessica Sercombe (Eng) STT Program Advisor
Tel : (+855) 11 836 514