The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation has begun its 13th round of cash assistance payments to more than 700,000 impoverished households.

The payments began in June 2020, as the Covid-19 global pandemic took hold. Payments have now been made 34 times.

The ministry said in a statement that the state has spent over 4.1 trillion riel, equivalent to $1.025 billion, and that the 13th round of payments will run for 30 days, from April 25 to May 24.

The statement explained that families who have already received 34 payments will be able to collect this round of payments at Wing Bank branches, without having to return to their commune hall to register. Families that have not received all payments and those who have recently been issued ID Poor cards must visit their commune hall for verification.

“The Ministry of Planning has decided to extend the validity of expired equity cards in Phnom Penh and eight provinces – Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Kampong Thom, Kratie, Stung Treng, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey – pending an update on the status of impoverished households,” it added.

The cash assistance programme was officially launched by Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 24, 2020 to provide social assistance intervention to poor and vulnerable families.