Cambodia experienced the destruction of education system as well as economy and society by the civil war and communist policies during the late 1970s. It is reported that the Khmer Rouge regime turned the county into poverty and led to the hardest period of the country’s history (Royal Government of Cambodia). The regime destroyed human capital and physical capital, which contributed to delay the economic recovery and poverty reduction of the country after the conflict. In particular, reconstructing the educational sector was urgently needed because the regime devastated the education system and infrastructure, since they tried to install completely new communist education systems for educating ‘new people’ for constructing a perfect communist society. Moreover, people with knowledge or skills were particularly targeted for execution. Therefore, the country needed to start with creating human capitals when the conflict became over. In this process, educational reconstruction was significantly important.
The study attempts to discuss the impact of conflict on poverty reduction in Cambodia over the reconstruction period: what the country achieved; what the constraining factors were; and how the conflict affected the reconstruction process in terms of economic growth and poverty elimination. Furthermore, in this study, the conflict in Cambodia indicates its conflict between the 1970s and the beginning of the 1990s, which include invasion of the Vietnamese army.