To further address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has committed to providing cash assistance to vulnerable families to assist their economic recovery, said Senior Minister Ly Thuch.

Thuch, who is also president of the National Committee for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), discussed the Cash Transfer Programme during a policy dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022 that was co-organised by the committee on July 28.

“Over the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic crisis has damaged socio-economic progress in the world, including Cambodia. This has led to increasing rates of poverty, and a decrease in standards of living and health and education outcomes.

“With the ongoing crisis, the world continues to face increasingly acute unpredictable challenges to its development, including geo-political competition, military, trade and technological wars, climate change and monetary policy tightening,” he said.

“These factors have caused changes in the global economic architecture and disrupted the globalisation trend, which has significantly reduced the global value chain and productivity,” he added.

Thuch confirmed that under these circumstances, Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, urged the region as well as the world to adhere to the spirit of openness and support for multilateral trading systems.

“The prime minister promoted openness in international trade and the reduction of trade barriers, particularly on strategic commodities such as food, medicine, and energy, in order to foster sustainable economic growth and enhance the resilience of regional and global value chains,” he said.

He said on the socio-economic front, the government of Cambodia has been implementing concrete policy measures to attract additional foreign investments by building infrastructure and improving the transportation system, developing human resources and setting up improved digital systems, as well as developing the financial sector.

According to a press release, the report on Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022 highlighted the role of macroeconomic and structural policies in tackling inequalities and recommended a three-pronged policy agenda aimed at shaping inclusive economic recovery and development in Asia and the Pacific.

On July 27, in his capacity as first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), Thuch met with Sean Burke, director of the US Department of Defence’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Programme to discuss working on partnerships and cooperation in the field of demining activities in Cambodia.

“On that occasion, I asked Burnke for his continued support and cooperation with all national and international demining operators to ensure a better demining process through the use of modern demining equipment,” he said.

Burnke said the US would continue to support the programmes it had worked with for the past 15 years. It would also expand its support of new techniques, data management and technologies to help the Kingdom achieve its National Mine Action Strategy for becoming mine free by 2025, Thuch added.