EU partners with Oxfam, ILO and UNICEF to support Cambodia’s social protection system
The European Union Delegation to Cambodia (EU), alongside UNICEF, Oxfam and the ILO, is working to support the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia in strengthening its social protection system.
The EU support program for social protection reforms aims to simultaneously contribute to Cambodia’s response to COVID-19 and support the implementation of Cambodia’s national social protection policy framework.
The National Social Welfare Board of Cambodia plays a key role in the program, alongside stakeholders at the national and subnational levels, including the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans Affairs and Youth Rehabilitation, National Security Fund society, civil society and the private sector.
“The EU has joined forces with the ILO, UNICEF and Oxfam to support Cambodia in its long-term goals of extending the inclusiveness of its social protection system, including to workers who are not not yet protected. Going forward, the EU will support the bridges between social protection, decent jobs and sustainable green growth,” said Bryan Fornari, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Cambodia.
Dr. Narith Chan, Secretary General of the National Social Welfare Board, said that the government of the Kingdom of Cambodia recognizes the important role that inclusive social protection contributes to the reduction of poverty and inequality while improving resource development. human resources and fostering financial stability and economic growth. .
“The development of social protection in Cambodia is led and coordinated by the National Social Welfare Board, which also assesses and monitors progress and the implementation of accountability and transparency. We are grateful for the support and trust given to our development partners who continue to contribute to the growth of social protection in our country,” he added.
The EU support program for social protection reforms comprises two complementary projects.
The Fostering an Inclusive and Shock Responsive Social Protection System in Cambodia (FIRST) project is led by Oxfam, in collaboration with 11 partners, including civil society organisations, trade unions and local associations.
The project aims to increase awareness and access to social protection schemes, promote participation in social dialogue and strengthen social accountability mechanisms. The EU grant to Oxfam (€1.8 million) will allow the project to continue until 2023.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased Cambodians’ awareness of their vulnerability and fueled the momentum to increase collaboration between different stakeholders supporting the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia in its ambition to build a protection system. more inclusive and responsive to shocks.
Oxfam is delighted to work with civil society organisations, government agencies and development partners to raise the voices of vulnerable citizens, especially the voices of women, and contribute to a more inclusive, accountable and safe social protection system. transparent,” said Ms. Sophoan Phean, said Oxfam’s Cambodian country director.
The Advancing Social Protection in Cambodia project is led by the National Social Welfare Board of Cambodia and implemented by the ILO and UNICEF with three main expected results. First, it aims to improve the provision and coordination of social security and social assistance through modernized systems.
Second, it will extend social security coverage to more workers. Third, it will improve the quality and depth of social assistance services for people living in poverty and vulnerability while strengthening the capacity of social protection programs to enhance their livelihoods and labor market participation. . The project has received almost 5.6 million euros in funding and will continue until 2024.
Graeme Buckley, ILO Country Office Director for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, said: “Social protection is about reducing and preventing economic and social vulnerabilities and poverty.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of social protection to promote resilience and support economic recovery.
The project will help extend social protection to more women, men and their families and increase the coverage of social security schemes for uncovered workers towards a more effective, efficient, accountable gender-sensitive social protection system and sustainable development that covers the needs of people throughout their life cycle, and that contributes to the achievement of decent work and efficient and inclusive economic growth.
Foroogh Foyouzat, UNICEF Representative in Cambodia, emphasized that social protection is one of the most important tools UNICEF has to address entrenched poverty, which has been exacerbated by the socio-economic impacts of COVID. -19 on Cambodia’s most vulnerable citizens.
The Cambodian government’s investment in social protection before and during the pandemic has supported the well-being of citizens, contributed to economic stability, and helped sustain development outcomes for children, including through access to education and health services.
As Cambodia transitions to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing poverty and building resilience become even more important. The support of the European Union is crucial to help us strengthen the social protection sector so that it does not just help Cambodian families and children recover from the pandemic, but thrives in the future. -of the. Heng Panha – AKP