Prime Minister Hun Sen has appealed to citizens to answer truthfully during the census from March 3 to 13.
Mr Hun Sen said this year’s census is the first conducted after Cambodia was classified as a lower-middle income country. He added that the survey will help verify the integrity of the Kingdom’s population data.
Mr Hun Sen said that the survey will also help the government organise policies and implement its programmes.
“The census data will work as an indicator to monitor and check the work implemented under the National Strategic Development Plan and Sustainable Development Goals without leaving anyone behind,” he said, noting that citizens should answer truthfully and as accurately as possible during an interview.
“The general population census survey is not related to political issues – it does not serve the interest of a political party – and it won’t make people lose money,” Mr Hun Sen said. “The work is for the prosperity of Cambodians.”
Mr Hun Sen noted that the last census survey was conducted 11 years ago, in 2008. He said that it was done in accordance with the Statistics Law.
Hang Lina, director-general of the National Institute of Statistics, said in an interview last week, Ms Lina said the government has provided nearly $9 million to conduct the survey this year in order to ensure quality and comprehension.
“This population census survey is very important,” she said. “Without census data, we would not be able to see how much of the 17 UN SDGs have been implemented.”
Ms Lina added that beginning on March 3, NIS officials will go door-to-door in neighbourhoods across the Kingdom to meet citizens directly and gather data.
She noted that for those without homes, special working groups have been assigned to conduct the survey at a permanent location at 8pm on March 2.
“According to the UN SDGs 2030, development is not to leave anyone behind,” Ms Lina said. “We have to count everyone and collect information so we can develop the nation.”
Rizvina de Alwis, United Nations Population Fund representative in Cambodia, said the UN considers the census as very important.
“The Government of Cambodia assumes full ownership for the census, which is the national scale data collection. UNFPA is providing technical and some financial support for the census,” she said. “We consider the census a very important exercise because it will generate the disaggregated data that will form the basis for quality programme interventions to address the development needs of the country.”