Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Social assistance tops $1B

Social assistance tops $1B

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Social affairs minister Vong Soth at the meeting on May 10. Heng Chivoan

Social assistance tops $1B

Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth has urged the members of the public who received support from the government’s social assistance programmes to make good use of the money. He noted that no matter how much the state helped them, only they could eventually lift themselves out of poverty.

In the past four years, the government has provided over $1 billion in social assistance cash transfer programmes.

Soth made the call as he chaired a May 10 meeting to evaluate the results of the 2022 social assistance programme and set plans for 2023.

“Until now, at no point in my lifetime has the government provided money to the poor. It has always supported civil servants and other state employees, but now, we are assisting over one million households who do not work for the state – that’s four or five million people. They were affected by the global pandemic, and the state sought to help them,” he said.

He explained that the government has prioritised assisting the poor and the vulnerable, but the assistance will not be provided forever. The aid was designed to ensure that their families did not suffer, and if possible, make it possible for them to have the capital to free themselves from poverty.

Director of the Department of Social Welfare Chhour Sopanha said that the programme was first offered to the poor and vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic in June of 2020. Over 750,000 households, or three million people, have received over $1 billion in cash transfers. The first phase of the 14th round of payments is currently underway.

He added that the social assistance programme has also been provided to pregnant women and mothers with young children since June 2019. A total of 314,032 beneficiaries have received $23.97 million in payments. The programme is ongoing.

He also noted three occasions when support was provided to the victims of flooding. In December 2022, and the first two months of this year. Nearly 100,000 households received about $11.70 million in payments under the programme, which will end on June 10.

An additional $26.36 million was released to support 3.34 million people who were suffering from inflationary pressures. The programme began in June last year and will come to an end this June.

Erna Ribar, UNICEF’s chief of social policy and research, said the cash transfer programme had contributed to the protection of many of the Cambodian people, especially children and the vulnerable.

“We estimate that about four million Cambodians including children, pregnant women and the elderly received support from these social protection packages. We see this as an unprecedented huge investment by the Cambodian government in helping the social services sector to help protect the poor and vulnerable,” she added.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former

  • After three deferrals, Capital Gains Tax to take effect Jan 1, 2024

    The General Department of Taxation (GDT) will implement the Capital Gains Tax starting January 1, 2024 to after being deferred three times as industrial players warn that the implementation might have some negative impact on the property market growth, which is down due to the economic downturn.