Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed local authorities to encourage the establishment of more Older People’s Associations (OPA) in local communities throughout the country and called on non-governmental organisations to support this development.
Hun Sen made the comments on September 21 in a circular issued to celebrate Cambodian Day of Older Persons and the International Day for Older Persons on October 1.
“Sub-national administrations must continue to promote activities to establish more OPA in local communities throughout Cambodia in accordance with the plan based on the spirit of solidarity to help each other, especially to care of the elderly with disabilities.
“Development partners, NGOs and international organisations, please continue to support the existing development programme for OPA,” he said.
According to the circular, Cambodia will not have any gathering to celebrate the day as Covid-19 continues to spread. But the event will be observed under the theme “Participating to support the welfare of the older persons is an important factor in the implementation of the welfare system for people of all ages in Cambodian society”.
Hun Sen instructed authorities to meet with the elderly at pagodas and temples and bring generous donations to help them, and told the Ministry of Information to guide all public and private media outlets to cover activities for the occasion.
The prime minister instructed the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to prepare instructions for institutions under the ministry to encourage students to respect the advice of parents, grandparents, elders and to understand the changes of the elderly and to create extracurricular programmes to visit older people, especially to help in work for their benefit.
He urged the Ministry of Cults and Religions to guide pagodas nationwide through each pagoda committee, development partners, philanthropists and other foundations to provide support from generous people to older people so they can have a proper place to stay, enough food, and receive other care services.
“The government considers the Cambodian Day of Older People and the International Day of Older Persons as a day to commemorate the merits of the Cambodian elderly, ancestors, parents, uncles and aunts who have built and left a precious legacy for this generation and the next,” he said.
He said Cambodia celebrates this day with the aim of improving protection and the wellbeing of older people. This day also showcases the important role of older people who have created beneficial resources by providing knowledge, skills and experience for the next generation.