The Ministry of Planning has been coordinating the issuance of equity cards in the second phase to thousands more families who have volunteered to relocate from the Angkor Archaeological Park.

The families are set to move to the Run Ta Ek eco-village in Banteay Srei district and Peak Sneng development area in Angkor Thom district from October 17 onwards, said Theng Panhathun, director-general of the Ministry of Planning.

“For today, after the first step, we have already provided equity cards to many families who have volunteered to relocate to Run Ta Ek village. The second phase has 4,793 households.

“Among the families, there are 1,853 who have agreed to live in Run Ta Ek and the remaining have volunteered to relocate to Peak Sneng commune,” Panhathun said.

He said the second round of equity card issuance was not limited to a deadline, meaning the campaign would end when everyone had received one.

He added that it was a busy time for officials at the Ministry of Planning as there was the providing of equity cards while it also had other responsibilities in identifying vulnerable families.

“In order for this to be successful, the Ministry of Planning has mobilised forces from five provinces to carry out this work, with a total of around 60 of our officers here to carry out this campaign,” Panhathun said.

He added that under the guidance of Prime Minister Hun Sen, people who had volunteered to relocate to Run Ta Ek eco-village and Peak Sneng commune, regardless of their family situation, must receive two types of IDPoor card.

“If you already have an IDPoor card Type II, you have to come [to the heritage police station in front of Angkor Wat] to get the Type I as well,” he said.

Duch Savy, a resident who had volunteered to live in the Run Ta Ek area, said he was happy to have received an IDPoor card from the government.

“This card helps relieve the burden and hardship on the family because I can earn a monthly income in addition to living daily.

“I thank Prime Minister Hun Sen from the bottom of my heart for taking care of our well-being as we were in trouble and he came to help in time,” he said.

Pech Pisey, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said the provision of IDPoor cards was good for people who needed assistance from the government to have access to food or financial support.

He added that the equity card or IDPoor card was not merely an occasional grant, but could be used to receive various services set out in the principles of service under the scheme.

“This card can help the people who are very poor and need it. I think if the government can expand its scope to the really poor in other areas then it would be a good thing, because after Covid-19 we see that the poor are falling even further behind,” he said.

The Cambodian government of on October 5 announced the continuing of the cash support programme for poor and vulnerable families during the period of Covid-19 until the end of 2022, with the situation continuing to be monitored and evaluated every three months.

It has also decided to launch a cash subsidy programme for vulnerable families in response to inflationary pressures, with the prime minister Hun Sen assigning the Ministry of Planning to manage and coordinate the identification of vulnerable families throughout the Kingdom.

The National Social Assistance Fund is responsible as the operator to manage and provide money to vulnerable families.