Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Safety net’ coalition receives EU funds

‘Safety net’ coalition receives EU funds

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A garment factory worker dries her clothing at a rented unit in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district in 2020. Hong Menea

‘Safety net’ coalition receives EU funds

The EU has joined hands with three organisations and committed €7.4 million ($8.4 million) to two programmes which will support the government in strengthening social protection systems. This will serve as an immediate response to the disruption caused by Covid-19 and will also support the implementation of government policy framework.

A joint press release on February 21 said the EU Support to Social Protection Reforms programme aims to simultaneously contribute to the response to the pandemic and accelerate the introduction of new policy.

“The National Social Protection Council of Cambodia plays a key role in the programme, alongside stakeholders at national and sub-national levels including the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation; National Social Security Fund; civil society; and the private sector,” it said.

Bryan Fornari, head of cooperation for the EU delegation, said the EU would work alongside the International Labour Organisation (ILO), UNICEF and Oxfam to support Cambodia in its long-term objectives of broadening the inclusivity of its social protection system, including to workers who are not yet protected.

“Going forward, the EU will be supporting the bridging between social protection, decent jobs and sustainable green growth,” he added.

The press release stated that the Fostering an Inclusive and shock Responsive Social Protection System in Cambodia project (FIRST) was led by Oxfam, working with 11 partners.

“The project aims to increase awareness of and access to social protection schemes, promote participation in social dialogue and enhance social accountability mechanisms. The EU’s grant to Oxfam [€1.8 million] will enable the project to run until 2023,” the press release read.

It said the Advancing Social Protection in Cambodia project was guided by the social protection council and implemented by the ILO and UNICEF. The project had received almost €5.6 million of funding and will run until 2024.

Narith Chan, secretary-general of the council, said the government recognised the significant role that inclusive social protection contributes towards the reduction of poverty and inequality while improving human resource development and stimulating financial stability and economic growth.

“The development of social protection in the Kingdom is steered and coordinated by the council, which also evaluates and monitors accountability and transparency. We are grateful for the support and trust afforded by our development partners who continue to contribute to our country’s social protection growth,” he said.

Sophoan Phean, Oxfam Cambodia director, said the Covid-19 pandemic had significantly increased the awareness of Cambodians of their vulnerability and fuelled the momentum to increase collaboration among different stakeholders supporting the government.

“Oxfam is excited to work with civil society organisations, government agencies and development partners to bring the voices of vulnerable citizens, especially women’s voices, to the forefront, and contribute to a more inclusive, accountable and transparent social protection system,” she added.

Graeme Buckley, ILO country director for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, said social protection was about reducing and preventing socio-economic vulnerabilities and poverty. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of social protection in promoting resilience and supporting economic recovery.

“The project will contribute to extending social protection to more women, men and their families and increasing the coverage of the social security schemes to uncovered workers towards a more effective, efficient, accountable and sustainable gender-responsive social protection system,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10