From August 1, the government is implementing a cash support programme for pregnant women and children under two years of age to enhance the health of mothers and young children.

It also aims to contribute to addressing the issue of malnutrition of infants and children in poor families.

Chhour Sopanha, secretary of state at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and government delegate in charge of the National Social Assistance Fund (NSAF), said the payments would now be available to all women who are civil servants, contract officers, interns, workers or other members of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), as well as the impoverished holders of equity or ID Poor cards.

He said the payments would double on August 1, and include four pre-natal payments, as well as post-natal support until a child reaches the age of two.

The pre-natal payments will increase from $10 to $20, with post-birth payments set to double to $100. Additional payments will be made to the mothers of twins or triplets.

“The programme will be implemented smoothly, as we have carried out extensive technical training across the Kingdom, so we are confident officials will be able administer the changes,” Sopanhna said, the day before the roll-out.

He added that brochures and posters have been disseminated to each of the Kingdom’s commune offices, and the IT systems have all been updated to reflect the changes.

“It is not a new thing, just an update in payment rates, which reflect Cambodia’s development. Impoverished women can apply for the necessary ID cards through commune authorities,” he said.

He described the programme as making a significant contribution to addressing the issue of malnutrition of infants and children under two, adding that it was intended to boost their physical and cognitive development during the first 1,000 days of life.