Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun instructed officials from the provincial Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation to train the commune financial assistants who are in charge of the Cash Transfer Programme to conduct interviews and a census of at risk impoverished people.

Preah Sihanouk province has provided cash assistance to a total of 6,514 vulnerable families over the past 9 months.

The instruction came at a November 3 meeting to review the past nine months of the programme. The meeting was also attended by Chhour Sopanha, director-general of the National Social Assistance Fund.

Chamroeun said that commune chiefs must also be prepared to evaluate and approve the results of the census. All officials must maintain a professional, compassionate demeanour.

“We have to accept any requests and suggestions made by the public. We must carefully record the statistics of the census, so that we can use them to make sure that those who require social assistance in the future will receive it,” he added.

He congratulated the provincial departments of planning and health and the commune chiefs for taking on the task.

“The census of local people at risk is crucial for a successful social protection policy, which is a priority. We must take responsibility, for the sake of peace and so we can stimulate economic growth,” Chamroeun he added.

Chhour Sopanha thanked the provincial administration and project officials for expanding the implementation of the government’s cash assistance work.

“In particular, I want to thank the programme implementation officials for the work they did during the Covid-19 pandemic. This programme was widely celebrated as one of the most effective responses to the economic effects of the pandemic in the entire ASEAN region,” he said.

According to the provincial social affairs department, in the first nine months of the year, a total of 6,514 families received a total of 11,495,068,000 riel in cash payments. This was a reduction from the 11,571 families who were assisted in 2021. Some ID poor cards had expired or been cancelled, and some families had taken advantage of the reopening of the country to escape poverty, it said.