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Anti-inflation, flood-relief cash aid plans in the offing

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Prime Minister Hun Sen distributes rice seed and food to flood victims in Banteay Meanchey province in November. SPM

Anti-inflation, flood-relief cash aid plans in the offing

The government is set to roll out a new dual cash transfer programme intended for poor households recently affected by floods and those most vulnerable to inflationary pressures.

According to a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 3, those most at risk of inflation, as determined by the Ministry of Planning, will receive cash assistance under this scheme three times.

Those in Phnom Penh will receive 99,900 riel ($25), with each household member getting an additional 28,000 riel depending on family size. Those in urban areas will be given 87,300 riel, with each household member provided an additional 24,000 riel. Those in rural areas will receive 81,300 riel, with each household member getting an additional 20,000 riel.

The programme is implemented in a time of crisis and will expire after payments are made three times. The first payment will be made on December 10 this year; the second on April 10; and the third on July 10.

Flood-affected households in Phnom Penh and 15 provinces will receive 80,000 riel, with each member getting an additional 16,000 riel. The directive details that one child aged 0-5 gets 16,000 riel, as does one disabled person and one elderly person over the age of 60.

The cash transfer scheme for flood-affected households will be implemented once a month for three months starting this December.

Eligible families affected by floods and who have already been identified and verified in their communes are advised to go get their payments in the second week of December and again in January and February next year at their nearest Wing Bank agent.

The programme is designed in light of heavy flooding in Phnom Penh and the provinces of 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 provinces.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director for monitoring at rights group LICADHO, said he supports the cash transfer programmes in principle, but that more should be done to ensure they are administered transparently and without any discrimination involved.

“When people suffer similarly, they must receive the same payment, because they are also Cambodian people and they live under the same roof with the same government, regardless of their political affiliations,” he said.

Hun Sen indicated that in response to the prolonged crisis of inflation, the government would continue with its policy of targeting at-risk families across the country for cash payouts.

“In order to ensure that at-risk people and families who are encountering real difficulty due to the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the severe flooding this year and inflationary pressures, let me issue a stringent order to all sub-national administration at all levels to pay close attention to identifying and coordinating this work with the people who are the intended targets of this aid so that they receive timely payments, in order to guarantee justice, equality, integrity and transparency as is expected of programmes managed by the government,” he said.


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