Phnom Penh, 15 July 2020 – With support from the Government of Australia, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has provided 1,700 tablet computers to the Ministry of Planning, along with a bundle of software, all aimed at improving Cambodia’s social protection system.

The computers will enable the Provincial Departments of Planning and Communes/Sangkats to register new IDPoor recipients faster, so that they can receive rapid cash transfers, sooner. 

Social protection is one of the four main areas in the next phase of UNDP’s COVID-19 crisis response. It is designed to support the most marginalized peoples, so that they can access food, pay for shelter, and enable them to seek stable livelihoods.  It is crucial to revitalizing Cambodia’s economy, positioning it to build back better from COVID-19, and ensuring that no one is left behind.

“The Government of Australia and UNDP have provided these tablet computers to the Ministry of Planning to help the rapid upscaling of the IDPoor Programme so all those registered as poor can receive a cash transfer. This expands the UN’s work in social protection and builds our partnership with GIZ in helping the Royal Government of Cambodia build a robust and fully digital IDPoor Programme,” said Nick Beresford, UNDP Cambodia’s Resident Representative.

His Excellency Kitti Settha Bandita Chhay Than, Senior Minister and Minister of Ministry of Panning raised that “in Cambodia, like the other countries around the world, poor families are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. To address this challenge, the Royal Government of Cambodia launched a Cash Transfer Programme to help Equity Card holders. However, some households remain absent from the IDPoor Programme while others are falling back into poverty due to loss of income caused by the pandemic. To speed up the registration of households in the Programme, the ministry made a request to UNDP for 1,700 tablet computers. We sincerely thank the Government of Australia and UNDP for providing these tablets to the ministry.”

“Australia is proud that our support for the past ten years, including these latest tablets, helped build IDPoor into a truly Cambodian system that has become the backbone of the Cambodian Government’s COVID-19 cash transfer to vulnerable households,” said His Excellency Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia.

“Thanks to IDPoor, the cash transfers are now supporting national economic and social stability in a time of crisis while also channeling support to the poorest Cambodians based on transparent criteria – a strong and equitable outcome built on years of Australia-Cambodia development cooperation,” said Ambassador Kang.

As the technical lead on the United Nations socio-economic response to COVID-19, UNDP has a strong commitment to assist the Royal Government of Cambodia to build and roll out its first social assistance cash transfer system for all people in Cambodia living below the national poverty line. Under the Cash Transfer Programme, the Government is spending more than US$25 million a month to support those holding the Equity Card, and those who have been affected by COVID-19. This includes people who have lost their jobs and incomes, plunging them back into poverty.

In addition to the emergency social protection support, UNDP is currently piloting a Graduation-based Social Protection programme. This pilot aims to test the effectiveness and practicality of a social protection model that provides assets opposed to cash alone in the context of Cambodia and test its potential to be scaled up nationwide.

With its triple hit to human health, education, and incomes, the COVID-19 crisis will cause global human development to fall this year for the first time, since the concept was introduced in 1990. The United Nations system is supporting countries in their recovery efforts, with a focus on ensuring the protection of the most vulnerable.

Along with financial support from the World Bank (WB), UNDP together with the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided support to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in procuring critical medical equipment ranging from bio-hazardous waste bags to ventilators and ambulances.

UNDP is also providing technical support to the Planning Ministry by producing COVID-19 related communications and awareness raising materials.

 

Ends

 

For media inquiries, contact Mr. Im Samruol, UNDP’s Communications Analyst, at samruol.im@undp.org

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at https://www.kh.undp.org/ or follow us at @UNDPCambodia.

 

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