A SUB-DECREE calling for the establishment of a national committee dealing with the elderly’s affairs was approved by Prime Minister Hun Sen in a plenary council of ministers session at the Peace Building last week.
According to a press release from the council, the decision to establish the committee was based primarily on data collected in 2010 revealing that the over-65 demographic in Cambodia had grown to make up six percent of the population and would likely continue to expand.
Pay Sambo, deputy director of the department of elderly well-being at the Ministry of Social Affairs, said yesterday that he was very glad to see the government taking an interest in the elderly.
“The Ministry of Social Affairs drafted the sub-decree in May and we are all very happy that the government approved it,” he said.
“This sub-decree was created for the purposes of better integrating the elderly into the community at-large and better managing elderly human resources, to ensure that their knowledge and experience get transferred to the next generation,” he explained. The sub- decree also designates October 1 of every year as a national holiday to celebrate the Kingdom’s elderly, he continued.
“Research conducted by the Ministry of the Interior in 2010 showed that there were nearly 1 million people over the age of 65 living in Cambodia,” said Pay Sambo.
Kim Vuthy, project manager of the Cambodia Retirement Village, said yesterday that the new attention and support from the government lends hope to elderly people nationwide.
“I’m glad that the government has approved the sub decree, but they still need to provide more shelter, food, and medical care for homeless and abandoned senior citizens,” he said.