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COVID-19 relief for migrant workers rolled out in Kingdom

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Chou Bun Eng, secretary of state and vice chairwoman of the National Committee for Anti-Human Trafficking, speaks at a press conference in Siem Reap province. NCCT

The National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT) yesterday officially launched a programme which seeks to support migrant workers who were forced to return to the Kingdom amid unprecedented COVID-19 border lockdowns

The $1 million initiative was created through collaboration of the UN’s migration agency, the International Organisation for Migration in Cambodia

“Our officials are closely cooperating with the Ministry of Health in monitoring the returned migrant workers to prevent the spread of the virus in communities,” said NCCT permanent vice-chair Chou Bun Eng

Kristin Parco, chief of IOM Cambodia, said recently that the programme will improve access to COVID-19 information and prevention measures for returning migrants at both formal and informal points of entry and quarantine facilities

She added the programme will also provide essential healthcare services such as mental health support, anti-gender-based violence measures, as well as child and maternal care through improved identification and referral for 200,000 of the most vulnerable

“The programme will mitigate mid- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on most-vulnerable migrants through the provision of individual and community economic reintegration packages which are specifically designed for migrants and women-headed households to support incomegenerating activities, tailored to the available resources within the province and market viability,” she said

Interior Minister Sar Kheng, during a meeting last month between representatives of relevant ministries and UN agencies in Cambodia, said the six-month programme will be carried out in Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Siem Reap provinces

“The programme is also to ensure the provision of necessary social and economic services to migrant workers and to contribute to an effort to manage and address impacts caused by COVID-19 towards them,” Kheng said

So far, more than 100,000 Cambodian migrant workers have returned from Thailand following the Thai government’s decision to close the country’s borders to prevent the spread of the virus

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