In a bid to help the government address the urgent needs of vulnerable migrant workers who have returned home amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has donated 1,670 dignity kits and communication materials to the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT).
Through the committee and relevant authorities at national and sub-national levels, the materials will be distributed to vulnerable returnees, especially pregnant women and those most at risk of gender-based violence.
The kits include basic hygiene items and advice for pregnant and lactating women to help protect themselves from Covid-19, minimise infection risks, practice social distancing, and cope with stress while confined to home.
The communication materials also include necessary information on gender-based violence and violence against women during the pandemic.
UNFPA acting representative to Cambodia Daniel Alemu said: “UNFPA is calling on governments and partners to prioritise sexual and reproductive health of women and girls and respond urgently to their needs.
“Supporting people affected by humanitarian crises is not only the right thing but also the wise thing to do to save lives and build resilience to avoid Covid-19 from cycling back to the vulnerable people and communities around the globe.
“We must maintain continuity of maternal health and other sexual and reproductive health services, including antenatal and postnatal care and access to safe birth.
“Frontline health workers must also be protected from Covid-19 and be provided with personal protective equipment to treat infected patients and continue to provide essential services,” he said.
Last month, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said more than 85,000 migrant workers had returned from various countries.
Through Battambang province’s Daung international border crossing alone, more than 15,000 migrant workers passed through for Khmer New Year, said the provincial administration.
It said the workers hailed from different provinces including Battambang, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng, Pursat and Svay Rieng.
Provincial governor Nguon Ratanak said during a press conference last week that some 14,000 workers who returned through his province had completed their 14-day quarantine and have been cleared of Covid-19, while 1,000 others remained isolated.
Ratanak said there are still migrant workers returning to Cambodia through international border checkpoints between Battambang and Thailand.