Social Assistance to Help COVID-19 Hit Poor People Launched
The Royal Government of Cambodia launched here this morning the Cash Transfer Programme for Poor and Vulnerable Households during COVID-19, lifting a burden of some 560,000 households.
Under the programme, some US$25 million is allocated per month to process the first round and each household in urban areas is granted 120,000 Riel (approximately US$30) and 80,000 Riel (about US$20) for those living in rural areas without counting the allowance for each household member.
Speaking at the launching ceremony held at the Peace Palace, Mr. Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said that the monthly programme – so called social assistance – is planned to run till the COVID-19 situation gets better.
“Assistance in cash will facilitate the poor people in this hard time of COVID-19,” PM Hun Sen said, noting that the COVID-19 crisis may push Cambodian people who have just moved above the poverty line to return to below the line.
The Premier continued that the amount of budget used for the programme will increase if the situation of the pandemic will not be better.
“About US$25 million will be spent per month and the budget will increase to US$30 million or over US$30 million, but we have to try our best not allow anyone die due to starvation,” underlined Prime Minister.
Besides, PM Hun Sen called on the Ministry of Planning to work closely with sub-level authorities to identify the hardest COVID-19-hit poor people.
To benefit from the programme, households are required to be assessed by authorities and given certificates from the designed authorities verifying that they are in a poor condition of level 1 or level 2.
The fund allocated for the programme is from the national savings, claimed to be around US$3.5 billion.
According to Mr Aun Pornmoniroth, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance, there are 562,689 poor households in Cambodia, 211,746 of them are in level 1 and 350,940 in level 2.