The Social Affairs Ministry has distributed over 1,000 electronic tablets to provincial authorities meant to be used to help disburse welfare funds to impoverished pregnant women and children under two-years-old.
Social Affairs Minister Vong Sauth on Saturday gave out 1,646 tablets to representatives of provincial authorities during a ceremony at the ministry headquarters.
“These tablets will be distributed…so the details of those who are eligible to receive the funds can be collected and placed in the ministry’s database,” he said. “I regard this as an important step to enhance government services to poor families.”
Mr Sauth said that the distribution of welfare funds, which was carried out by the Health Ministry, will come under the Social Affairs Ministry’s jurisdiction from today and the programme is part of the government’s initiative to eradicate poverty.
“I would like to call on all government officials to intensify efforts to make the programme successful,” he said. “They include local officials tasked with compiling the data of those eligible for the welfare aid.”
Mr Sauth said that to implement the programme, the ministry trained 8,470 provincial officials and established two hotline numbers. Those in need of the aid are expected to call the numbers.
He said the ministry also printed 9,300 manuals to guide officials on how to input the data.
The government has signed an MoU with Wing Specialist Bank, which has 6,000 branches nationwide, to disburse the funds to eligible recipients.
Mr Sauth also urged local officials to improve and do not make the fund distribution process difficult for pregnant women and children.
Under the programme, the government will provide each impoverished pregnant woman $40 in four instalments throughout their pregnancy, $50 when they have delivered, and $100 in 10 instalments until the baby is two years old.
In addition, they will receive another $10 each time they take their babies for vaccinations, up to six times until the child reaches two years.
Touch Chanthon, Tuol Kork district’s Phsar Depo II commune chief, yesterday said that he had already received a tablet.
He hailed the ministry’s move to digitalise the process of identifying those who qualify to receive the aid.
“It is very good that my government does it like this because no one will be able to commit corruption,” Mr Chanthon noted.
According to the ministry, 72,000 women across the Kingdom have been issued with poverty cards for them to access the ministry’s welfare services.