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Kingdom keeps growing safety net

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The national social protection mechanisms are designed to provide social protection information to indigenous peoples who may otherwise not be aware. OXFAM IN CAMBODIA

Kingdom keeps growing safety net

Seven civil society organisations (CSOs) and the National Social Protection Council (NSPC) have jointly organised a nationwide information campaign on social protections that is focused on the importance of equity cards, cash support programmes for pregnant women and children under the age of two and the Health Equity Fund.

According to the joint press release which The Post obtained on April 6,stated that Oxfam together with six CSOs and NSPC have partnered to organise a nationwide information campaign on social protection with the financial support of German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The campaign – focused on the importance of the Equity Cards, Cash Transfer Programmes for Pregnant Women and Children under age two and the Health Equity Fund – is now being broadcast through all possible mediums of communications available: local radio, online news, social media, Telegram groups and physical community meetings to reach out to even the most geographically-isolated individuals.

To ensure full inclusion of the indigenous groups there radio shows being broadcast in the local ethnic minority languages of Bunong, Krueng, Kui, Tumpon and Jaria.

Phean Sophoan, Oxfam country director, said that social protection is an essential tool for the reduction of people’s vulnerability to economic, environmental and social shocks across life-cycle.

“Social protection has a proven potential to support individuals living in poverty or risking to fall back into poverty”. It is therefore imperative to coordinate multi-stakeholder collaboration to address gaps in knowledge and awareness,” she said.

Chan Narith – undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance and secretary-general of the National Social Protection Council – also said it is essential that the government work to raise the public’s awareness on social protection and develop a social protection culture that can help the Kingdom expand its development of social protection systems nationally.

“We have a responsibility to educate the public about the benefits that social assistance and social security bring to our citizenry. Individuals who are well informed about the benefits of social protection will be more proactive in accessing them,” he added.

According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, the programme has provided cash assistance to poor and vulnerable families during the Covid -19 pandemic beginning June 25, 2020, to the present, with eight rounds of cash disbursals.

As of March 24, the government had provided $622.92 million in subsidies to 686,992 poor and vulnerable families, the ministry said.

Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, who is also chairman of the National Council for Social Protection, said at the opening Social Protection Week recently that the effects of the Covid-19 crisis diminished the government’s efforts to promote the development of the social protection system, but it did have the benefit of also bringing the issue to the forefront and prompting the government to pay more attention to building a stronger social protection system.

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