THE Ministry of Social Affairs has established Phnom Penh’s first Association for the Elderly, one of hundreds that have been set up nationwide to assist Cambodia’s senior citizens.
Sok Tho, the director of the new association, which is located in Chamkarmon district, said it had been inaugurated last week and already had 231 members.
Members of the association are required to pay dues of 2,000 riels (about US$0.50) per month, which are used to provide financial assistance to members who become sick or injured, Sok Tho said.
Dr Pay Sambo, deputy director of the retirement and pensions department at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, said Thursday that the ministry had established 334 similar associations in the provinces but had never before set one up in Phnom Penh.
“We wanted to establish this Association for the Elderly because it expresses that we are paying attention to the old people, not only in the province but also in the city,” he said.
Citing 2008 census figures, he said 37 percent of Cambodians were older than 55, adding that the age group was expected to grow to 62.5 percent of the population by 2050.
Khan Yun, a 68-year-old resident of Phsar Doem Thkov commune, who has joined the association, said she hoped it would provide the types of services commonly available to the elderly in the West.
“We must have associations for the elderly in our country that are the same as the Western countries, because all old people can help each other by sharing what we have, like money, with old people from poor families,” she said.