Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGO market could help beggars

NGO market could help beggars

NGO market could help beggars

Cambodia's new Minister of Tourism, Lay Prohas, believes he may have come up with

a possible solution to the increasing problem of beggars on the Phnom Penh riverfront.

Prohas' idea is to establish a night market for tourists, operated by NGOs with humanitarian

ideals, who could divert the revenue earned into welfare and rehabilitation work

with disadvantaged people, and help get some of them off the street and back into

mainstream society.

Currently, the municipal government deals with the beggar and street kid problem

by rounding them up and taking them out of town. This tends to happen in advance

of special events when an instant improvement in the city's image is considered desirable.

Prohas, in an interview with the Post, said "It breaks my heart to see my people

suffering in this way, having to beg from tourists for their survival. It is the

responsibility of city hall and the Ministry of Social Affairs to address the problem."

He said there was no possibility in "wringing one's hands and saying it's someone

else's responsibility. I would like to help with my concept of a night market, operated

or managed by one or more NGOs who have humanitarian missions. It would be a high-class

service for tourists, a quality addition to the ambience of the unique Phnom Penh

riverfront.

"There has to be a secondary purpose, otherwise the market would just attract

more beggars. The benefit would go to the street people; the NGO would use the revenue

from the market to keep people off the street. How they would do this is over to

them, I just offer the idea and opportunity. Other cities have night markets but

I have not heard of this concept elsewhere. I invite NGOs who are interested to contact

me."

Prohas said the night market could proceed regardless of NGO involvement, subject

to the approval of the governor and the municipal police.

"A few hundred meters could be allocated on the paved path between the grass

and the street; this is wide enough for mobile market stalls, not tents or mats.

Electricity could be provided for colorful lighting. They would sell souvenirs, art

and craft, music, videos, watches, t-shirts, whatever; but not fish or groceries.

It could be a big attraction, maybe even Siem Reap people would come for the experience,"

he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Touch: Rainsy will never return

    Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed it has achieved 70 per cent of its struggle to find a solution to the current political situation in the Kingdom. Just before boarding a plane at Charles de Gaulle

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • Sar Kheng: Rainsy return not blocked

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng clarified that Cambodia had never blocked Sam Rainsy from returning to the Kingdom. However, he said Cambodia reserved the right to take legal action as allowed by law against activities aimed at destroying the Kingdom. “No one blocked the return

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • King Sihamoni presides over opening of Water Festival

    King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the lighting of the lantern barges, representing the many ministries, in front of the Royal Palace on Sunday as the first day of the annual Water Festival celebrations went smoothly. Bun Veasna, an official at the National Committee for Organising

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The