Now that infrastructure has been developed enough to make the work feasible, the government has turned its attention to social service projects in the capital-provincial administrations.
These projects aim to help the vulnerable, especially women, children and people with disabilities, according to a senior Ministry of Interior official.
Prak Sam Oeun, director-general of the General Department of Administration of the Ministry of Interior and vice-chairman of the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development, made the announcement as he opened an August 1 seminar on the preparation of social services project of the Capital and Provincial Administration for 2023 in Kampong Cham province.
The seminar will last for two days, and will be attended by representatives from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Planning, the Advisory Committee on Women and Children and Cities-Provinces’ Deputy Governors in charge of Social services.
Sam Oeun said that the purpose of the seminar was to promote cooperation from various ministries and institutions, so they could support the women and children’s advisory committee – and the specialised offices of the Capital and Provincial Administrations – as they discussed challenges, suggestions and solutions, and shared positive experiences in implementing social service projects.
He said that initially, when Cambodia started to have peace after war, rebuilding focused largely on physical infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.
“Now that the Kingdom’s infrastructure is generally decent, the sub-national administration has started to think about social service projects. We have been implementing them for about five years. We started at the commune level, and about $15,000 was been provided to each communes to help the poor. Three of four years ago, we began work at the provincial level,” he said.
He added that according to interior minister guidelines, the provincial level projects should account for about five per cent of the development budget.
He said the seminar will jointly review the activities and social service projects of all capital and provincial administrations that have been implemented since 2021, in order to ensure the inclusion of all social service projects in 2023 into the three-year investment programme and the national strategic budget plan 2023-2025.
Kampong Cham provincial administration spokeswoman Sam Phalla said the provincial level will spend 5 percent of its operating budget to focusing on helping women, children and the vulnerable.
“At the suggestion of the national government, the province anticipates a minimum of five per cent of its budget will be used on social services,” she said.
Sam Oeun pointed out that the government has been paying attention to the work of social services and has set out a fourth rectangular strategy that focuses on four priorities: people, roads, electricity and water, with “people” as the first priority.