ACTION Education, an international NGO formerly known as Aide et Action, has received 120 requests from subsistence businesses and vendors in target areas for budgetary assistance.

This comes after the organisation’s announcement to provide funding ranging from $100 to $500 to support small-scale businesses and street vendors in the coastal zones of Kampot and Kep provinces.

This budgetary support project was initiated in collaboration with the Coalition for Partnership in Democratic Development (CPDD) under Action Education SEA-Cambodia, as part of the Consortium for Sustainable Alternatives and Voice for Equitable Development (CO-SAVED) project.

The announcement said there were 125 budgetary packages, totalling $30,000, divided into four categories.

Eligible recipients of the funds have been identified as individuals residing in communities within Kep town and Damnak Changaur district of Kep province, as well as in communes within Teuk Chhou and Kampong Trach districts of Kampot province.

Grantees are either engaged in fishing or have family members involved in the fishing industry.

“The first category includes five grants of $100, aimed at boosting vendors’ sales. The second comprises 25 grants of $200, designated for acquiring business tools. The third encompasses 25 grants, each providing $300 intended for initiating or expanding businesses. Lastly, the fourth category comprises 25 grants of $500, also intended for starting or expanding businesses,” the announcement stated.

Thann Samedy, impact investment manager at Action Education, told The Post on September 24 that, as of September 23, a total of 125 individuals, representing 125 households, had submitted grant requests, categorised by their specific needs.

This project aims to enhance local economic development within the coastal regions of Kep and Kampot, ultimately improving the livelihoods of the residents.

He said applicants are required to participate in a training session before an organisation-affiliated working group assesses their circumstances and decides upon funding for their businesses.

“Our budget has the clear purpose of supporting vendors who rely on the informal economy and fisheries. We’ve observed that they’ve been facing challenges due to climate change, resulting in a drop in their income,” he said.

“Consequently, our goal is to promote the budget’s utilisation, allowing fishermen within our membership to generate income for their families,” he added.

He also anticipated that once their businesses and income are secured, families would be more likely to ensure their children’s education, reducing the risk of school dropouts.

Sok Dina, an applicant from Kep, expressed that his income had declined due to a decrease in sales. He hopes that his request would cover these expenses. Additionally, he suggested that the organisation consider providing further support to help sustain businesses.

“I’m determined not to shut down my business, because if I do I’ll be left without any means of livelihood. Getting this grant would alleviate some of the financial burden. My daily sales bring in meagre earnings, some days I make less than 100,000 riel [$25]. Therefore, if I receive these funds, I intend to invest them in purchasing materials,” he explained.

Samedy clarified that training for grant applicants will occur for approximately half of the members September 25-26, while the remaining applicants will receive their training early next month.