People in Need (PIN), a Czech non-profit, has underscored the accomplishments of integrated Covid-19 response projects aimed at assisting disadvantaged urban communities in Phnom Penh.

These projects, designed to aid the recovery of these communities from the lingering impacts of Covid-19, centre around improving their access to psychological support and social protection services.

Initiated by PIN and its partners in late 2020, the response projects target economically disadvantaged urban communities, with the goal of enhancing social protection, economic revitalisation and Covid-19 resilience.

As the final year of project implementation unfolds in 2023, PIN told The Post on August 20 that their assistance has extended to vulnerable households, blue-collar workers, women, children and their communities, laid-off workers, and micro and small businesses.

Achievements include the installation and distribution of mobile sanitation facilities and alcohol dispensers at four markets: Samaki, ChbarAmpov, Pochentong and Chumpu Voan.

Their focus also extends to imparting financial literacy, loan holder rights, and housing and rental rights training. Over 3,000 blue-collar workers have benefitted and presently, about 2,000 more are undergoing similar training, with the goal of reaching 5,000 by the end of the project.

Since its inception, the project has enrolled 500 laid-off and low-skilled workers in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses, covering information technology, automotive, air conditioning installation and repair, and electronics fields.

In addition, 99 micro and small business owners have benefited from training in digital marketing skills and business consultation services, coupled with small grants to facilitate Covid-19 recovery. At present, approximately 100 more business owners are benefiting from the project.

PIN also conducts awareness sessions on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Violence against Children (VAC), reaching over 200 communities. A corresponding social media campaign has highlighted these issues, targeting youth and the public.

PIN country director Chhuon Kim Srun shared with The Post that Cambodia’s strides towards digital adaptation, with a growing presence on social media among youth, have proved effective in raising awareness within these communities.

“Before the project’s implementation, gender-based violence and child exploitation were prevalent in Phnom Penh’s communities. Since our intervention, there has been a marked decrease in such cases, as observed by both us and Urban Poor Woman Development [UPWD],” Srun said, referring to one of PIN’s local NGO partners.

In the current landscape, where Covid-19 has become more commonplace, the project maintains its commitment to aiding communities in their recovery from the pandemic’s enduring effects. The focus remains on enhancing access to psychological support, social protection services and economic stability.

“Our social media campaigns and community interventions have shared knowledge about women’s and children’s rights. Additionally, members now grasp the significance of safety within their families and communities,” Srun said.