Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cash transfer scheme a win

Cash transfer scheme a win

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The launch ceremony for a report on the socio-economic impacts of Cambodia’s Covid-19 cash transfer programme, on July 27. UNDP CAMBODIA

Cash transfer scheme a win

A socio-economic evaluation of the government’s cash transfer programme for poor and vulnerable households during the fight against Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021 showed that it had significant positive impacts.

The project was lauded by its recipients, development partners, national and international civil society organisations (CSOs) and the general public, according to a joint press release by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, National Social Protection Council, UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Cambodia and the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh.

The July 27 press release said UNDP had co-organised a socio-economic evaluation of the implementation of the programme with the support of the Australian government. The evaluation aimed to understand the effectiveness and consequences of the programme at both the micro (household) and macro (economic) levels, both key inputs for formulating social protection system.

The release said the results of the evaluation showed that the programme had significant positive impacts across human development and socio-economic indicators including food security, children’s education, savings, debt repayments, productivity, healthcare and gender empowerment.

Macroeconomic modelling also suggested that the programme helped to stimulate gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 0.55 per cent in 2020 and 0.45 per cent in 2021. It reduced the poverty rate by 2.7 per cent in 2020 and by 3.4 per cent in 2021, while reducing the unemployment rate in both years, by 0.57 per cent and 0.62 per cent, respectively.

“The programme aims to support and facilitate the livelihood of more than 680,000 poor and vulnerable households with equity cards. Over the past 25 months, a total budget of $744 million has been hailed by recipients, development partners, national and international CSOs and general public,” it explained.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A couple hold their IDPoor card after receiving the government’s cash assistance for vulnerable households hit hard by Covid-19, in 2020. UNDP CAMBODIA

The cash transfer programme was launched on June 24, 2020, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Finance ministry secretary of state Phan Phalla said: “The programme was one of the interventions introduced by the government to mitigate the vulnerabilities of impoverished households. It embodies the Kingdom’s proactive response to the crisis of Covid-19.

“The results of this study not only illustrate the effectiveness and transparency of the programme implementation but also crystalise the role social assistance intervention played in improving their livelihoods and stimulating the economy.”

UNDP officer-in-charge Sonali Dayaratne said the evaluation presented clear scientific evidence that further investments in social protection can effectively support the most vulnerable and ensure no one is left behind.

“This evaluation allows us to better understand and see the impact and implications of the programme on the lives of poor and vulnerable households as well as macroeconomics,” she said.

Benita Chudleigh, first secretary of the Australian embassy, said: “As a neighbour and friend, Australia is committed to working with a broad range of partners to develop practical ways of improving the lives of all Cambodians.

“We congratulate the government of Cambodia for utilising the IDPoor database, which Australia helped to establish over the past decade, in order to target cash transfers to those most in need.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,