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Vong Song, an acting secretary of the Cambodian Veteran Association and minister of social affairs, talks at the opening of the second Internal Congress of the CVA yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Vong Song, an acting secretary of the Cambodian Veteran Association and minister of social affairs, talks at the opening of the second Internal Congress of the CVA yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Veterans struggle to claim their pensions

The families of deceased Cambodian veterans are finding pensions hard to come by, the Cambodian Veteran Association admitted yesterday, as the organisation is scrambling for funds amid what appears to be higher-than-usual death rates among the Kingdom’s former military officers.

Speaking at the opening of the second Internal Congress of the CVA yesterday, Vong Soth, an acting secretary of the association and minister of social affairs, said that out of the 75,258 registered members of the CVA, since 2008, approximately 5,513 veterans’ families have received a 4 million riel ($1,000) allowance provided by the association. However, 1,523 of those registered have not.

“Based on the statute, the mortality fund accounts for 35 deaths per month,” he said. “But now, the death rate has doubled to 70, and in some cases, more than 100. It’s difficult for the association to keep supporting [people].”

Khot Saran, 59, vice president of the CVA in Kampong Cham’s Kampong Siem district, said that in order to solve the problem, the association will require a set contribution for the fund in order to expand its reach.

“The amount of the contribution depends on the death rate every month,” he said. “We may ask to donate $1 this month, or $2 a different month.”

Soth also noted that in total, there are 87,285 veterans and 14,528 dependents in the Kingdom.

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