Oxfam and the General Secretariat of the National Social Protection Council (GS-NSPC) on August 30 launched the national social protection broadcasting mechanism (NSPBM) to serve both as an emergency broadcasting system for use during national emergencies such as severe weather or flooding and as a means of informing people about the government’s social assistance and social security schemes that could benefit them.
A joint press release by the GS-NSPC and Oxfam states that the creation of the system involved the collaborative efforts of 11 ministries and nine civil society organisations (CSOs) as well as media outlets such as television and radio stations.
“There is an urgent necessity for a social protection national broadcasting mechanism, which can clearly broadcast to Cambodian citizens the benefits available to them within both social assistance and social security schemes and programmes,” the statement said.
It said communication efforts previously have been dependent upon institutions working independently, rather than collaboratively, resulting in fragmented and uncoordinated communication efforts.
Chan Narith, GS-NSPC secretary-general and undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said it was essential to raise public awareness about social protection programmes and expand their presence in Cambodian society.
“We have a responsibility to educate the public about the benefits that social assistance and social security can bring to their families. Individuals who are well informed about the benefits of social protection will be more proactive in accessing them,” he said.
He added that after Cambodia implemented two major national social assistance programmes – including cash support for pregnant women and young children and cash assistance for poor and vulnerable households – during the fight against Covid-19, the public gained more understanding of the social protection systems in place for the country.