During a period spanning more than three years, from June 25, 2020, to July 24, 2023, the government has devoted over $1.1 billion to support vulnerable households.

This investment has directly benefited over 700,000 households in financial need and underscores the government’s resolve to mitigate the enduring financial hardships triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation disclosed on July 24 that the government, through its cash handout programme, has spent in excess of 4.4 trillion riel. This sum, roughly equivalent to $1.1 billion, has been distributed across 37 payments to a total of 70,465 beneficiaries.

The ministry’s spokesperson further shared that the 14th round of disbursements kicked off on July 25 and is slated to run for a full 30 days, ending on August 30.

The ministry released an advisory to citizens residing in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Kampong Thom, Kratie, Stung Treng, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey. This message serves as a reminder to those with lapsed equity cards to bring their records up to date.

Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, observed that Cambodia is still grappling with Covid-19, with the public’s ability to navigate these challenges remaining strained.

Kim Eng further commented that the impact of the pandemic on employment, resulting in suspensions and closures, means the government’s continuation of financial support to underprivileged and vulnerable households is crucial.

“The consistent aid is indeed beneficial in supporting their livelihoods and alleviating their burdens,” he said.

“If the government stops or suspends the programme now, it will affect their livelihoods as the economy is not yet in a good situation. We have observed that some businesses are not making good progress,” he added.

Prime Minister Hun Sen officially launched the programme on June 24, 2020. The initiative aims to provide targeted social assistance interventions to the public, with a special focus on underprivileged and vulnerable households.