The government will extend support for another three months for about 600,000 poor families, equivalent to more than three million people.
Chhour Sopanha, director of the Social Welfare Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs, said yesterday: “We cannot reveal the exact amount because we have to update it every month. And we have implemented and used the funds from June to December. We have prepared up to $300 million.”
The government has so far set out two phases for the COVID-19 relief programme, with the first phase covering June and July and the second phase covering August and September.
Sopanha added that as of yesterday: “We have spent more than $100 million and we have more than $100 million left. We will use this money to prepare for the next three months.”
“We have surveyed more than 2,000 families and found that 99.6 percent of them were satisfied with the programme, and the 0.4 percent dissatisfied were because of errors during processing,” said Sopanha.
He said that since the first phase: “We have confiscated around 10,000 cards from fraudsters and those who used to live in poverty.”
Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, said yesterday that it was a good and timely response by the government to resolve people’s needs.
It is a good solution that the government has extended the help for the next three months, because poor and vulnerable people have faced difficulties during this crisis, Eng said.
He added that we still see a problem with assessment, as some people previously identified as poor now have a better income, but they pretend to still be poor, which violates the government policy.
“The government should monitor and punish those who do so. During the process, we still received complaints about irregularities, and I also see a lack of information that explains to the people how the process works and how they register,” he said.
Kim Eng added: “There should be the involvement of other civil society groups so that [the programme] can be monitored for better performance and transparency. We can help the government get real help to the people and reduce irregularities.”
- Tags: IDPoor