Cash assistance to the poor continues

Members of poor households hold their “equity card” when they receive cash assistance on June 25. NSSF

During a two-year period of the Covid-19 pandemic, from June 25, 2020 to June 25 this year, the Cambodian government spent $714.9 million to help 700,000 poor and vulnerable households, according to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans Affairs and Youth Reintegration. Touch Channy.

“This cash distribution program was unusual for Cambodia. Hardly any other developing country in the world has done such a thing during the Covid-19 crisis. A total of 700,000 households representing three million people received cash assistance,” he said on June 26.

Channy said that during the early days of the cash program, national and sub-national teams struggled to execute the plan because it was new and the focus was on managing data and intelligence. money by developing a computerized system. to help with work, but now everyone is aware and the challenges are not as great.

Touch Sovuthna, director of the provincial department of social affairs in Kampong Cham, said mechanisms have been put in place to train officials to carry out work at district and commune level in a transparent manner.

“We have a team that coordinates this work so that when the municipal administrations have a problem, we can help solve it immediately and teach them what to do the next time the problem arises,” he said.

He added that for individuals, the most common problem is that they forget their Wing code numbers needed to withdraw their money or sometimes their PoorID cards are temporarily blocked and they have to meet with their commune chief to get a new card.

He also noted that on some occasions the team had to indicate to certain Wing locations that they were not allowed to take a share of the money under any circumstances because the service charge was already paid. to the wing by the government.

Sovuthna said that over the two years his province made cash donations to 48,145 poor families and the program continues to this day.

“More than 40,000 poor families continue to receive cash assistance from the government. They will continue to receive them until the government announces the end of the program,” he said.

On June 24, 2020, Prime Minister Hun Sen launched the cash transfer program in response to the economic downturn caused by Covid-19. The program is now in its ninth renewal period and additional payments are expected to take place from June 25 to July 24 this year.

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