In 2022, the government spent more than $5 million on payments to more than 50,000 working women who gave birth.

According to a January 25 report by the Department of Social Security under the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), allowances were paid to a total of 55,770 women, who had a total of 56,173 children. Among them, 393 gave birth to twins and five to triplets. The NSSF spent roughly $5.48 million, a reduction of nearly 15 per cent on the previous year.

From January 2018 to the end of 2022, almost $35 million was provided to working mothers, according to the department. During the four-year period, 346,258 children were born – 2,326 pairs of twins and 24 sets of triplets.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen made the decision to provide allowances to women who work, both in the formal and informal economies. This demonstrates his concern for the welfare and living standards of the people, and his desire to relieve their financial concerns during childbirth,” said the report.

Srun Chenda, a 34-year-old resident of Takeo province, said she received 400,000 riel ($100) in 2020, when she gave birth to her first daughter.

“For an affluent family, this might not seem like much. But for me, it meant I could survive for many days without relying on my savings. I was very pleased when I got this money,” she said.

Chenda plans to have another child this year and hopes to receive the same funds.

The government first announced the allowances in 2014.

A woman who gives birth to a single child receives 400,000 riel, whereas the mothers of twins and triplets collect 800,000 and 1.2 million, respectively. The NSSF pays the cash directly.

Mothers who give birth to triplets also receive a gift of five million riel from Hun Sen and his wife.