Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Payouts to mothers to ‘combat malnutrition’

Payouts to mothers to ‘combat malnutrition’

A mother holds her infant child as she waits to see a doctor outside Phnom Penh’s Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in 2016.
A mother holds her infant child as she waits to see a doctor outside Phnom Penh’s Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in 2016. Hong Menea

Payouts to mothers to ‘combat malnutrition’

In what may become yet another populist pledge, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said he is considering giving $50 to every woman who gives birth in Cambodia to decrease child mortality and tackle malnutrition of mothers.

Speaking to factory workers in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he estimated about 400,000 women gave birth in Cambodia every year, and that the payouts were needed to combat infant mortality and malnutrition among mothers who had just given birth, as well as to foster children’s development after birth. If his estimate is correct, the payments would cost the country $20 million a year.

“The budget is capable of that,” Hun Sen said, “but this will not be implemented now and needs careful thinking”.

The premier had already promised baby bonuses for garment workers and civil servants, and has announced numerous other benefits to factory workers as part of an ongoing charm offensive to court the 700,000-strong voting bloc.

San Chey, country director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said he supported the initiative, but allowed the proposal could be a strategic move to drum up support among women.

Ex-opposition lawmaker Ou Chanrath said the policy was similar to proposed elderly benefits floated by his now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, adding while he supported it in principle, he needed to see it actually implemented.

“I want to see its sustainability, not just promises that disappear after elections,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment