Poorly-regulated micro-finance institutions, supposedly intended to help alleviate poverty, are doing the opposite.
Millions of Cambodians are now submerged in personal debt from institutions supposedly set up to help the poor — who typically have great difficulty procuring bank loans — succeed in various types of small economic activities such as entrepreneurship.
Predatory micro-loans are not only forcing Cambodians into greater poverty but also leading to rampant land sell-offs of personal property.
Private land is a scarce and valuable commodity in a place where all land titles were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge government in the 1970s.
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation