The government has spent more than $960 million on the cash transfer programme for poor and vulnerable families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, benefiting nearly 2.8 million people.

The programme kicked off on June 25, 2020. As of February 24, twelve rounds of support have been authorised with $962.97 million paid to those holding IDpoor cards.

A total of 2,783,591 people from 705,613 households have benefitted from the programme. Among them are 110,025 children under five years old; 378,097 people over age 60; 60,692 people with disabilities and 2,037 people living with HIV/AIDS, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.

The second payment of the 12th round will be available from February 25 to March 24. The ministry reminded payment receivers to use the financial support for household necessities and never use the money for illegal activities or products like alcohol.

The ministry said that the status of anyone holding an IDPoor card could be re-evaluated if they are caught using the funds in an inappropriate manner.

According to Chhour Sopanha, director-general of the ministry’s National Social Assistance Fund, cash support to the poor is divided into three categories: Those in the urban areas of Phnom Penh, poor households in rural areas outside of Phnom Penh and the rural poor. Each family receives cash according to their family’s size and location.

A qualified household living in a rural area receives up to 200,000 riel ($50) per month, while in the capital and other urban areas they receive on average between $80 and $100 monthly.