Over 680,000 poor and vulnerable households received financial support through the government’s cash transfer program during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a notice published by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans Affairs and Youth Reintegration on February 25, the government has just implemented the first installments of the eighth round of transfers.
The program was first launched on June 25, 2020.
The ministry said the first transfers of the eighth cycle ended on February 24, with 687,354 households receiving the money, at the government’s expense of 121 billion riels ($29 million). The second payments of this cycle will run from February 25 to March 24.
“From June 25, 2020 to February 24, 2022, the state provided $592.58 million in financial support to the poor and vulnerable during the fight against Covid-19,” the ministry said.
The ministry told eligible people to withdraw the money from any agent of the electronic payment service provider Wing. No transaction fees should be charged to them, as the government had negotiated them with the company.
Chanthy, a resident of Chak Angre Leu commune in Meanchey district, said she receives about 170,000 riels ($40) every month from the government’s cash transfer program because her family has six members.
“I use the money to buy rice and pay for electricity, water and other expenses. It alleviated my financial concerns to some extent,” she said.
Chanthy said she was happy to have received government support and hopes the program will continue as the Covid-19 situation does not appear to have improved yet.
Secretary of State for the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Vongsey Visoth, said on February 18 that the government had spent a total of $2,127 million from 2020 to 2021 to control the impact of the pandemic on various sectors.
He said a total of $830 million was spent in 2020 and $1.3 billion in 2021. More than $1 billion is expected to be earmarked for pandemic relief spending this year.