Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Migrant workers receive aid



Migrant workers receive aid

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Returning migrants from Thailand receive assistance in Prey Veng from IOM Cambodia and Korea’s KOICA. IOM

Migrant workers receive aid

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) visited migrant workers returning from Thailand at a quarantine centre in Prey Veng province.

The delegation visited to see first-hand the ongoing humanitarian efforts to assist Cambodian migrant workers returning because of Covid-19, according to a press release issued on Wednesday.

The mission is part of an ongoing project to protect returning migrants and host communities from the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

IOM Cambodia chief of mission Kristin Parco said the support from KOICA will help address the immediate needs of migrants as they travel from points of entry, through quarantine facilities and back to their communities in Prey Veng, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Siem Reap and Battambang provinces.

“The returning migrants will receive information on Covid-19 preventive measures, health screening and essential food supplies. The cooperation with KOICA is vital to support the efforts of the Cambodian government,” Parco said.

KOICA Cambodia country director Hyunjun Rho expressed appreciation to those who have worked hard to make the effort successful.

“We are pleased to see the continued support from the Prey Veng provincial authorities to protect returning migrants and host communities from the risk of transmission by providing prevention information, improving the efficiency of specimen collection in the province and providing essential food and hygiene supplies to quarantined migrants at the points of entry and in quarantine centres,” Rho said.

He said while speaking with families and communities in Prey Veng, they learned more about the challenges faced by migrant workers including their irregular migrant status abroad, working conditions and worry for their families in Cambodia.

The interviewed migrants worked in food processing, fishing or at gas stations while in Thailand. As infection rates rose there, the migrants made the decision to return to Cambodia, which they said seemed safer.

Two family members, Rith, 32, and Ny, 30, are quarantined at home in Prey Pnov commune, in Prey Veng province’s Pea Reang district.

Both said they have no plans to return to Thailand and intend to invest their savings in their own businesses. The joint business initiative would involve Rith starting frog farming and Ny running a grocery shop while their son attends the local school.

The migrant family said they were delighted to receive the quarantine supplies from KOICA and plan to begin their business venture after the quarantine period is completed.

Their neighbour Chheak, however, told the joint delegation a different story.

Chheak, 50, spent nearly three years working in Thailand but returned to Cambodia in October because of difficult working conditions. Having lost his main source of income, Chheak is worried about the future of his family.

He said he does not want to migrate again to Thailand due to his age and the harsh conditions abroad. At the same time, he cannot see any opportunities in his village other than farming.

Over 110,000 migrants have returned to Cambodia since March, including more than 1,000 migrants to Prey Veng. The returns were sparked by business closures and job losses in Thailand and neighbouring countries. Prey Veng has the fourth-largest number of returning migrants.

IOM Cambodia has been supporting the returning migrants in Prey Veng since April by supporting the quarantine facilities, distributing personal hygiene kits and essential food supplies and helping healthcare workers.

IOM Cambodia and KOICA Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding last month to provide immediate health assistance to returning migrants from Thailand.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian

  • Cambodia set for large-scale vaccination campaign as Covid spreads

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed all provincial authorities to get ready for a large-scale vaccination campaign, with at least one million doses to be administered per month. “We will roll out at least one million doses. The vaccines we have purchased and received as