Kun Kim, secretary-general of the Cambodia Veteran Association, distributed social land concessions to 140 families in Kraya commune’s Trapeang Russey village in Kampong Thom province’s Santuk district on May 22. Each family received one house and land for farming, some by a lucky draw.

Kampong Thom governor Sok Lou said the provincial administration had set aside nearly 2,000ha of land for distribution to veterans with 74 of the 140 houses built and 12km of roads completed.

“Some veterans can win the lucky draw and move into a completed house, while others have to wait for builders to finish the remaining. They are scheduled to be finished in two months at the latest,” Lou said.

He also said veterans’ families would receive a house measuring 5m wide and 7m long and 1.5ha of land.

Sok Ratha, Kampong Thom provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said the government’s policy on the allocation of social land concessions is a good programme to assist poor Cambodians.

“We are also concerned that some people who are really poor will not receive social land concessions,” he said.

Lou said people who secure a social land concession will also receive a legal land title only if they live on the land for at least five years. The concessions are a legal mechanism for the transfer of state land to landless people to live and earn a livelihood.