The government has extended cash assistance programmes for vulnerable households in the ongoing fight against Covid-19 until March 2024, with some adjustments.

Adjustments to benefit levels aim to aid those most affected, as outlined in a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Manet on January 11, revising the earlier No 88 decree from June 12, 2020.

“The assistance payments programme for vulnerable and impoverished households in the fight against Covid-19 shall continue until March 2024. Payment amounts will be in effect from January to March 2024,” stated the decree.

In a bid to assist vulnerable households, the directive outlines specific monthly stipends for those holding equity cards categorised as IDPoor 1 and 2.

Both IDPoor 1 and 2 holders in urban areas of Phnom Penh and outside the capital will receive the same monthly stipend of 120,000 riel ($30) each.

For children aged 5 and younger, individuals with disabilities, the elderly aged 60 years and older and poor families with HIV-positive members, the breakdown includes 40,000 riel each for IDPoor 1 and 28,000 riel each for IDPoor 2 holders. This aims to streamline assistance to those who need it most.

In terms of support for underprivileged households in rural areas, both IDPoor 1 and 2 families will receive an equal allowance of 80,000 riel. Children aged 5 and younger, individuals with disabilities, the elderly aged 60 years and older and families with HIV-positive members, holding IDPoor 1, will each receive an additional 24,000 riel. Similarly, those with IDPoor 2 will receive 16,000 riel each, ensuring consistent support across the designated groups.

Yang Kim Eng, president of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, said he supports the government’s dedication to aiding vulnerable households. He also noted the importance of effectively implementing the assistance payments programmes to avoid the appearance of partisanship. 

“These assistance payments ensure transparency, allowing genuine victims to receive state support and preventing partisan corruption,” he said.

The sub-decree assigns duties to officials, such as the Minister in charge of the Council of Ministers, the chairman of the National Council for Social Protection, among others, for its implementation from the signing date.

As of October 2023, the government has allocated $1.2 billion to aid vulnerable households amid the ongoing battle against Covid-19.

The assistance payments programme aids vulnerable households affected by Covid-19, providing support to those also severely impacted by floods and inflationary pressures. Programmes for pregnant women, children under 2, and supplementary subsidies for female workers during pregnancy are ongoing.