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Cambodia’s National Social Assistance Programme: Government’s Commitment to Ensuring Well-being of Its Citizens

by Surya Narayan
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Cambodia’s National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) has been hailed as a crucial policy by Prime Minister Hun Manet. The government has allocated significant funds to support families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and inflationary pressure. In 2021, about $1.35 billion was spent, followed by another $600 million in 2022, demonstrating the government’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of its citizens.

With the launch of the “Guiding principles of the NSAP for Households and Guiding Principles of the Social Protection Framework in Response to Emergency,” the government highlights its dedication to leaving no one behind. Prime Minister Hun Manet stated that the government will continue to prioritize the most vulnerable members of society, offering assistance and resolving their problems promptly.

Cambodia has made significant progress in various sectors, leading to improved livelihoods and a drastic reduction in poverty rates. However, the unforeseen impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, along with global conflicts and inflation crises, have created additional challenges. Despite these circumstances, the government remains proactive, ensuring that its social protection systems are effective and responsive to the needs of the people.

While the government acknowledges that the problem of Covid-19 is effectively over, it reassures the public that it will continue to address the needs of those affected by the pandemic’s economic consequences. The implementation of the guiding principles aims to strengthen Cambodia’s social protection systems, providing long-term benefits and assuring citizens that they will be supported.

The social assistance programme encompasses four target groups: pregnant women and new mothers, primary and secondary school students in need of support, individuals with disabilities, and those aged 60 and older. Starting from April next year, the new social assistance programme payments will replace the Cash Assistance Programme that was established during the pandemic.

The government’s commitment to addressing the socio-economic impacts of various crises is evident through its release of over $1.3 billion. This financial support has been provided to mitigate the effects of both the Covid-19 outbreak and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Furthermore, the government has taken comprehensive measures, including vocational training and implementing cash programmes, to support the poor, vulnerable, and impacted individuals.

Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Chea Somethy affirmed the government’s dedication to strengthening social protection programmes. Through the National Social Protection Policy Framework 2016-25, the government aims to integrate the NSAP and implement additional policies for enhanced protection. The ministry also commits to working collaboratively with relevant stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the government’s new policies.

Cambodia’s government, under the guidance of Prime Minister Hun Manet, has prioritized the National Social Assistance Programme as a crucial policy to support families and respond to emergencies. With substantial financial investments and a commitment to leaving no one behind, the government seeks to ensure the well-being of Cambodian citizens. By implementing and strengthening social protection systems, the government aims to guarantee long-term benefits and support for its people.

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