Cambodia’s Joint Programme (JP) seeks to realize the national goal of covering more people with a more robust, equitable, sustainable, and child- and gender-sensitive social protection system. Through cross-governmental collaboration, improved analysis of those being left behind and increased fiscal space for social protection, it is developing a Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) to benefit 200,000 pregnant women and children, and pension schemes to cover an additional 1.5 million people by 2022.
The JP has been active over the first three quarters. Among the highlights, technical assistance has been provided to develop a management information system (MIS) and build tools to ensure routine monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in social protection programming. M&E frameworks have been drafted with government partners to support the above mentioned CTP, as well as for disability allowance. Concept notes and Terms of Reference for the review of the National Health Insurance and Social Protection Policy Framework have been agreed. Consultations have been held with the government to review current programme design and legal architecture, and a partnership has been established with the European Union to leverage further resources. Preparation is ongoing to conduct “Social Protection Week'' activities in the next quarter.
The Joint SDG Fund has authorized JPs to repurpose up to 20% of funding to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the most vulnerable. In Cambodia, under the coordination of the RCO, a policy brief on social protection responses (including COVID-19) was jointly developed between PUNOs and other agencies. The JP has supported the government in the design of the COVID-19 CTP for Poor Households; to date, roughly 2.1 million people have received their first payments. Support has also been provided to the government for the provision of $40 per month to approximately 170,000 workers in the tourism and garment sectors who have been acutely impacted by the pandemic. On balance, despite the current context, the JP in Cambodia has made significant strides towards building a social protection system that will truly leave no one behind.