Representatives from civil society institutions speak at a meeting related to social protection services on April 21, 2022. (Pa Sokheng)
Some civil society groups claim that social protection is an important tool for reducing the vulnerability to economic impacts and lifelong livelihoods of citizens as they demand more social protection awareness. More.
This statement was made at a press conference of 7 civil society organizations such as Oxfam, NGO-Forum on Cambodia, Indigenous Peoples of Cambodia, Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, Network Organization Farmers and Nature, the Health Action Coordinating Committee and the Fisheries Action Coalition to promote social protection on April 21.
The civil society groups claim that the campaign focuses on the importance of equity or poverty cards, cash support programs for pregnant women and children under the age of two, and health equity funds, which should be disseminated through various networks and directly in the community to provide Information to people in the most remote areas and indigenous groups.
Oxfam Director Phean Sophoan says that social protection has really facilitated the vulnerable people who are living in poverty or those who are falling into poverty to improve their lives. She said the vulnerable groups include poor families, the elderly, widows, children and the disabled.
According to the civil society official, social protection in this sense refers to any policy that the government has put in place to support individuals or families to ensure food security and safety in times of crisis in life. Citizens can get help to invest in their children’s health, education and have a stable livelihood.
“Some people, when they are sick, they can sell their houses, sell their land, sell their cattle, which is an active asset that allows them to earn a living, they are sold out,” she said. So he has nothing but land, loss of career, and if the disease is severe, he may lose his ability to work. “Thus, free health care for all those families is very important when he is in trouble.”
Ms. Phean Sophoan said that poor families are vulnerable to various crises. In fact, during the Kovid-19 crisis, poor families lost their jobs, lost their income, had no reserves, and lacked food.
She added that this case is necessary for the relevant institutions to address their challenges as well as the lack of knowledge related to social protection to citizens.
GIZ Social Welfare Program Manager Corinna HEINEKE says it is important for citizens to be informed about the forms of social security they receive from the government and the government. Relevant institutions when they need help.
She said that this is why GIZ has collaborated to promote the social protection system to raise awareness and reduce poverty.
The GIZ official said that the organization provided direct technical support to the working group of the Secretary General of Social Protection of Cambodia by consulting on the media, setting up mechanisms and providing financial support.
“GIZ provides funding to Oxfam to continue working with relevant partners at both the national and sub-national levels,” said Corinna HEINEKE. We have a wide range of outreach to the grassroots level where people in remote areas find it difficult to access information. “Thus, through the mechanism supported by GIZ, we ensure that every citizen has access to information, whether in urban or rural areas.”
Roeun Heng, an indigenous person living in Sen Monorom City, Mondulkiri Province, said that the poor card will help the poor because they can use it when they are sick without having to pay for treatment.
However, the disabled woman said that at present, some of the most vulnerable people have received the card, while others have not yet received it.
She would like to see the government and local authorities provide equity or poor cards to citizens more transparently than partisanly.
“But it seems that every day, the card has not [reached the hands of the real poor] enough, because some people can go, some people can not go,” she said. Some rich families went, some you did not go, it did not go! [Why is that?] Well, it depends on the village and commune authorities, only they know that in our community, who he really lacks, who he does not lack, and who he does not have. You depend like an old man. “But [apparently] to maybe or something, we do not know.”
Undersecretary of State for the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mr. John Narith, praised the campaign of civil society organizations that cooperate with the government in promoting social protection to the people. He added that social protection is a development aimed at reducing poverty, social inequality and preventing the fall into poverty.
He said that the program to provide cash to vulnerable people can be confirmed in various forms, such as equity cards or poor cards. However, when implementing programs to support vulnerable people across the country, there are always gaps that need to be filled.
Mr. John Narith: “Human nature also has an evaluation, especially he [citizen] may evaluate himself that he does not believe in the system or he that the system is lacking, so he always evaluates himself. He may evaluate himself whether he deserves [equity or poor], but the system says he does not. Thus, this self-assessment is human nature. “So I do not mean any kind of accusation, but this is natural.”
According to an assessment conducted by Oxfam on the level of awareness and access to information on social protection programs among Cambodians in October 2021, Cambodians are generally unaware of important social protection programs such as programs. Cash support for pregnant women and children under 2 years old and health fund.
The same study shows that only 54% of Cambodians are aware of social protection programs, while only 41% are aware of the Health Equity Fund.