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Finance ministry set to assist families affected by Covid-19

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Chbar Ampov authorities distribute food to people living in the red zone on May 17. Hean Rangsey

Finance ministry set to assist families affected by Covid-19

The Ministry of Economy and Finance has decided to set out the mechanisms and procedures for implementation of a programme providing social assistance through cash after the lockdown for families with Covid-19 deaths and those with Covid-19 infections and related difficulties.

According to the decision signed by Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Porn Moniroth and issued on May 17, the provision of cash to individuals and families having financial difficulties due to Covid-19 would start from the beginning of June onward.

“The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training shall prepare a request for payment of the advance payment within four to six weeks after the providing date of the advance payment,” the statement added.

The government on May 11 issued a proclamation on the implementation of the social assistance in cash programme, pledging cash support for families with Covid-19 deaths of 300,000 riel ($75)and a cash subsidy to pay for electricity and clean water for five months.

Workers infected with Covid-19 will receive a package allowance of 160,000 riel per person for those living in Phnom Penh, Kandal province’s Takmao and Preah Sihanouk province’s Sihanoukville.

The social affairs ministry spokesman Samheng Boros said that the working group is coordinating with commune authorities to compile statistics on the number of people who will be eligible to receive the cash assistance in Phnom Penh, Takmao and Sihanoukville.

Boros told The Post on May 17 that they do not yet know the exact number of people who would receive the subsidy, as the process had not yet been completed.

“At this time, we are allowing commune authorities and our volunteers to conduct home interviews about their living conditions and challenges. Although we do not have the latest data yet, but we can estimate that there will be a large number of people who will benefit,” he said.

According to Boros, about 20 to 30 per cent of the population in Phnom Penh may have been affected by the lockdown in addition to other poor households, but this assessment required time to identify those who were truly in need of assistance.

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