Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - IMF approves $240M grant for pandemic recovery fund

IMF approves $240M grant for pandemic recovery fund

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman selling Khmer cake walks her bicycle at Orussey Market in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district on July 5. Heng Chivoan

IMF approves $240M grant for pandemic recovery fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $240 million grant to Cambodia to rehabilitate its economy and recover from the affects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Board of Governors of the IMF has approved a general allocation of the largest Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in history equivalent to $650 billion (about SDR 456 billion) on 2 August 2021, to boost global liquidity. Cambodia will receive a portion of US $0.24 billion,” Oxfam said in a press release seen by The Post on August 11.

SDRs are an interest-bearing international reserve asset based on a basket of international currencies created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement other reserve assets of member countries. SDRs can be held by Cambodia on account with the IMF as part of its foreign reserve assets or exchanged with other IMF member countries for regular currencies.

SDRs are used by the IMF as stimulus for the global economy. They are not a loan that needs to be repaid and their use is decided by the receiving countries.

Oxfam Cambodia country director Lim Solinn said: “New SDRs will help developing countries including Cambodia to cope with the impact of Covid-19 and restore its economy.”

The government has made “great efforts” to contain the virus transmission and support vulnerable populations coping with their livelihood loss with its historic cash transfer programme that is built on its developing a social registry system, she added.

Solinn suggested that the government continue working transparently and with civil society organisations to ensure that this additional debt-free financing is used to benefit all Cambodians affected by Covid-19. For example, it could be used to prioritise universal health care and social protection investments that can reduce inequalities for a fairer and more sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

The press release cited the International Labour Organisation’s findings in 2021 which indicated that the informal sector now represented 87.5 per cent of Cambodia’s economy.

The press release also cited the Ministry of Planning’s findings which warned that six million workers in the informal economy are at risk of losing their livelihoods altogether as the pandemic persists.

“Thus, it is imperative that the RGC puts a special focus on its relief programme supporting informal economy workers and micro, small and medium size businesses that are the backbone of Cambodia’s economy,” noted the press release.

“We commend the RGC for its efforts to ensure that vulnerable groups such as women and girls facing sexual and gender-based violence, pregnant women, children, people with disabilities, indigenous people and ethnic minorities, people living with HIV/AIDS, homeless persons, and migrant returnees, are beneficiaries of their Covid-19 relief programme,” said Lim Solinn.

Ministry of Economy and Finance spokesman Meas Sok Sensan did not comment on the matter on August 11, saying he was busy in a meeting.

Oxfam further requested that the government take advantage of this SDR to make its pandemic intervention historically inclusive because the Cambodian people and especially the most vulnerable groups will remember this legacy.

MOST VIEWED

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod