Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t cash transfer programme lauded

Gov’t cash transfer programme lauded

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A household member (right) receives cash support from the government in April. MSAVYR

Gov’t cash transfer programme lauded

The poor and vulnerable hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic thanked the government for introducing the Cash Transfer Programme, which will reach its second anniversary next week.

The government has released more than $68 million to more than 2.7 million people from more than 680,000 households nationwide since the programme was officially introduced on June 24, 2020.

The government is continuing to make cash payments to the target groups and this will be the 23rd round of payments.

The economic deficit caused by the pandemic threatened to push many Cambodians into poverty, but through the programme – coupled with the introduction of effective measures from the government and the Ministry of Health – people have survive and their daily lives are returning to normal.

Phuong Ratana, a resident of Chak Angre Leu commune’s Prek Ta Kong village in the capital’s Meanchey district, said she received an ID Poor card during the pandemic, with her family collecting 300,000 riel ($75) a month.

“My family has many members. My father is disabled, my husband is a construction worker but I can still take care of my children,” she said.

In addition, Ratana received a separate allowance when she fell pregnant during the pandemic. “When I went to the hospital, I got 40,000 riel and when I gave birth, I got another 200,000 riel. I also received traveling allowances and 40,000 riel each time I took my baby for a vaccination,” she said.

Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude as she thanked the government for providing the assistance, which eased the burden on her family by helping them pay water and electricity bills and their daily food expenses.

Chem Oun of the same village said there are 496 households living in the community, of which about 50 are impoverished.

She said most of the people in the community were poor and faced hunger, but the support from the government, especially during the lockdown, has eased their burden.

“The people did not suffer or remain in extreme poverty, thanks to the government. Some large families received up to 300,000 riel. In addition, the commune chief helped those who did not hold an ID Poor card. He made sure that nobody was left to die of starvation,” she said.

She requested that the government continue to provide cash support for at least another year, as peoples’ lives returned to normalcy.

Chum Sarom, the chief of Svay Pak commune in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district, said that during the pandemic, local officials visited and evaluated each household in order to issue IDPoor cards and help them receive cash transfers from the government.

“We surveyed the resources of each family, and assessed them as poor level 1 (p1), 2 or 3. Most fell into the p1 or p2 category. P3 would indicate they already had a good standard of living,” she said.

Som Rattanak, who lives in Takeo province, said: “The close attention of the government was most welcome, because during the lockdown, we were unable to conduct business. This meant we found ourselves in a difficult situation, so I am grateful for the payments which relieved the financial pressure we were feeling.”

Chhour Sopanha, director of the Social Welfare Department under the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, said the government’s close attention to the needs of the vulnerable was obvious.

“The government has so far spent more than $68 million through the cash transfer programme, a clear sign of our care for our people,” he said.

Sopanha said the problem of poverty was alleviated by transferring cash, through IDPoor cards as well as assistance programmes for parents and pregnant women.

“In the past, you could only apply for an IDPoor card once every three years, but during the pandemic, we fast-tracked applications to just two weeks to a month. During the lockdown, we also had a programme in place to help families who had Covid-infected members,” he said.

Pa Chanroeun, president of the Cambodian Institute for Democracy, hailed the assistance programmes.

“These cash assistance programme are a good way to help the poorer members of society, helping them to survive and also allowing them to work to support themselves,” he said.

He requested that the programmes remain transparent, accountable and equitable and available without discrimination.


  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’