Social Protection Scheme Aims to Lift 60% Out of Poverty

The government has revealed it is drafting a raft of social protection measures, such as vocational training, that aims to elevate 60 percent of people out of poverty
Samheng Boros, a minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation. Kiripost/supplied
Samheng Boros, a minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation. Kiripost/supplied

In addition to implementing social protection through financial support, the government is drafting measures, including vocational training, to assist individuals to exit the poverty line, according to a minister attached to the Prime Minister.

At press conference, “Social protection, Economy recovery, and Digital rights in Cambodia” under the theme “Together for the Better Future” on December 20 at Himawari hotel, Samheng Boros, a minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation, said the government is testing a program by offering social protection support along with vocational training to help Cambodians to rise above the poverty line.

“As the Prime Minister used to say, find a way to educate them on how to fish instead of giving them fish. Cambodia is a nation known for its patience in problem-solving. When people only wait for the outcome without improving their abilities, the development will slow down progress,” he said.

“So, our team is now considering how to train people to find the fish instead of waiting for the fish,” he added.

He said that the “Exiting poverty through social protection” initiative is currently cooperating with the relevant ministries to offer individuals vocational training in addition to social protection support.

"If they struggle to choose a job, the expert official will commonly teach them the skill at home and help them with the finances through social protection programs. Also, we are currently implementing it.”

He added that if the implementation is effective, at least 20 percent of people will be able to exit poverty. Additionally, 60 percent of people will have a chance to escape poverty, but the implementation must be successful for at least two years. This is not an official evaluation, he added.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the government will release the family package to help low-income families and disabled families. The Prime Minister will determine the package cost based on the actual situation, he added.

“In the current situation, even if they are poor, they have a way of generating an income,” he said. “However, some elderly or disabled families lack the ability to generate income. So, we have the government's family package.”

The authorities are currently analysing them to find a solution. Additionally, he believes that disabled people can generate an income if there is encouragement.

The government has spent approximately $837.05 million on implementing the CT program for the poor and vulnerable households during Covid-19 during the past 28 months.

This emergency intervention has helped to ease the burden on the lives of poor and vulnerable households who hold equity cards in both urban and rural areas across the country.