All six priority policies introduced by the government during its inauguration on August 24 are now being implemented as promised, according to government spokesperson Pen Bona.

Bona said in a December 5 social media post that Prime Minister Hun Manet is a leader who has never promised the unattainable and has turned these pledges into reality. 

The six directives include: health care services aiming for global coverage; vocational training for youth from impoverished and vulnerable families; the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP); the National Strategy for Informal Economic Development 2023-28; the establishment of coordination mechanisms and a financing programme for farmers; and the deployment of agricultural officials to communes nationwide.

Bona noted that the government launched the NSAP on December 5, marking the completion of initiations of the six policies.

“The primary objective of [the prime minister] is to ensure access to health services for all people, irrespective of financial status. We are committed to not leaving impoverished children without vocational skills due to their inability to afford school fees. We ensure that workers in the informal economy are not excluded from government assistance and that farmers facing agricultural challenges receive necessary support,” he stated. 

He added that this marks a dynamic journey for the new government, aiming to elevate the country to upper-middle-income status by 2030 and ultimately to high-income status by 2050. This, he asserted, is the genuine aspiration of the Cambodian people.

Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Chea Somethy said on December 5 that with the NSAP’s implementation, the government is prepared to integrate the programme with others, forming a comprehensive social protection network to respond to emergencies. 

He said that the government had allocated over $1.305 billion for five social protection initiatives. 

Since June 2019, pregnant women and children under 2 have benefited from the cash assistance programme, with the government spending $28.87 million on 344,674 registered individuals as of October 2023. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government expended $1.213 billion to support 698,585 families as of October 24, 2023.

“Throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns, we disbursed $8.47 million to families who lost members to Covid-19, assisting 129,666 families from June 2020 to October 2021,” he stated. 

Somethy noted that during severe flooding from December 2022 to February 2023, the government provided $11.78 million in aid to 99,169 families. 

From December 2022 to July 2023, $44 million was spent to assist 495,307 households at risk due to high inflation.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, believes that the overall effectiveness of these initiatives is difficult to assess.

“We cannot precisely quantify the government’s achievements. We can only ascertain that [it] has fulfilled its promises,” he stated.