The government has disbursed more than $440 million in financial assistance for poor and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic in a period of over a year, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.

In a notice, the ministry said from June 25 of 2020 to September 24 this year, a total of 1,763,247,046,000 riel ($440.81 million) have been provided to the poor and vulnerable through the government’s ongoing cash handout programme.

The second phase of the sixth round of the scheme came to a close on September 24.

The third phase will last 30 days, from September 25 to October 24, the ministry said.

In the second phase, 249.304 households with IDPoor I cards and 424.183 households holding IDPoor II cards – or 2,660,726 million people – received a total of 120,184,060,000 riel ($29,496,172) in cash.

Economic analyst Hong Vannak said that the government support for poor and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic reflects long-term planning that funded emergency interventions through the national budget.

He said it showed that the government was taking responsibility for the wellbeing of the nation’s citizenry and suggested that the programme continue in the future instead of just being an emergency measure.

“This programme has humanitarian value and it can support people’s livelihoods and contribute to a healthy economy,” he said.