Cash Support Program Launched for Vulnerable

The government has launched a cash support scheme to aid vulnerable households impacted by covid-19, flooding and rising living costs
A person buys food in a market in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
A person buys food in a market in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The government has launched a cash support program in order to support vulnerable households because of the prolonged Covid-19, floods, and inflationary pressures.

According to a statement issued by the government on December 3, Prime Minister Hun Sen has given clear instructions to sub-national administrations at all levels to continue paying close attention to both identifying and making it easier for the target people to receive benefits on time.

“I strongly urge sub-national administrations at all levels to continue paying close attention to identification as well as to make it easier for the target population to receive timely allowances in a highly responsible manner to ensure justice, equity, integrity, and transparency as determined by the Royal Government,” he said in a statement.

Additionally, the government has launched the cash transfer subsidies program for vulnerable families after the Ministry of Planning identified them. They will be getting subsidies on December 10, April 10, 2023, and July 10, 2023.

“In Phnom Penh, each family receives 99,900 riels, and any extra family members receive 28,000 riels. In urban areas, families receive 87,300 riels, and any extra family members receive 24,000 riels. In rural areas, families receive 81,300 riels, plus 20,000 riels for extra family members,” it said.

Besides that, the government also launched a cash social support program for flood-affected families in 16 capitals and provinces, including Phnom Penh, Kandal, Takeo, Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Kratie, Kampong Chhnang, Prey Veng, Kampot, Svay Rieng, and Oddar Meanchey.

It will be implemented once a month for three months from December, it added.

“Each family receives 80,000 riels, 16,000 riels for each family member, 16,000 riels for children under the age of five, 16,000 riels for disability people, and up to 16,000 riels for those over 60 years old,” it said.

Vorn Pov, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA), said that the cash transfer is a way that the government responds to the needs of the people during the current inflation. If it can truly reach vulnerable families, it will ease their burden.

“If the authorities effectively implement what the government said on Saturday, I believe that it may assist truly affected households and it will benefit them during the goods’ price increase,” he said.

He added that the authorities should implement government policies in accordance with the stated documents, and without favouring any group over another.

“Particularly, in order to fulfil the requirements of the people, the state should be ready to provide subsidies to businesses affected by rising commodity prices in order to avoid inflation. It will be better,” he said. “Also, the state should put plans in place to ensure that people have decent work and increase their incomes.”

The government of Cambodia has spent approximately $868,42 million on the implementation of the Cash Transfer program for poor and vulnerable households during Covid-19 during the past 29 months.