Almost 6,000 poor and orphan children are living in child care centres of the state and non-governmental organizations in the Kingdom, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.
The ministry’s spokesman Touch Channy said on December 1 that there are 21 state-run-centres and 200 others are operated by national and international NGOS in Cambodia. More than 1,000 children live in state child care centres.
“In 21 state child care centres, each may house about 30 poor and orphan children.
“We manage and raise them and provide money, education, food and clothing. Each receives about 5,000 riel per day. We also support them with medicine and medical treatment,” said Channy.
According to Channy, children selected to be raised in child care centres are the final option.
“It is after we cannot find anyone in a community or family. It is the last option to raise them at centres. They are between the ages of three and less than 18 years old. When they reach 18, there must be an integration back into living with family or community.
“Our current policy is that we do not want to take poor and orphan children to centres,” he said.
Seila Samleang, the executive director of NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE Cambodia), said the response of the government is more attentive and serious than in the past. However, resources remain limited.
“It is a lot better than before,” he said.