The Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has urged capital-provincial governors to strengthen the identification process for IDPoor-eligible families, to make sure that only those who really need it, receive it.
Kheng said this in a letter sent to all capital-provincial governors yesterday, regarding the programme designed to help poor families during the ongoing pandemic.
The letter addressed two major points. Firstly, Kheng strongly advised the local authorities, especially village chiefs and commune councils, to strengthen the identification of the poor households accurately, clearly and consistently and to avoid misunderstandings and fraud from people trying to claim.
Secondly, he said the capital, provincial, city and district administrations must monitor and encourage the commune administrations to implement the cash support programme with transparency, accountability and efficiency. “Capital and provincial administrations must take strict action against any commune officials who have created any irregularities in this cash subsidy programme.”
Ministry of Planning spokesman Srey Da told Khmer Times yesterday that Kheng’s directive is in response to a request from the ministry, based on the recommendation of the Prime Minister that there should be serious action taken if any irregularities are found to occur in any village or commune.
Da said the ministry has worked hard to identify who is eligible for the programme and said that some families no longer need it.
“The ministry has identified irregularities in the identification process of the IDPoor programme and has subsequently withdrawn more than 14,400 equity cards from June 2020 until the present. This number includes relatives of authorities (who were claiming on the scheme),” he said.
If a villager is found ineligible, their cards will be withdrawn, he added.
Da said the ministry continues to address any incidents that occur in the identification of the poor households, with the responsible team acting immediately after receiving information.
“The ministry continues to search for families who have been living in poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing interviews to determine their poverty level,” he said.
Director of the Social Welfare Department at the Ministry of Social Affairs Chhour Sopannha said yesterday that from June 25 to December 24, the state has spent a total of $169.38 million on the programme.
“The third round of subsidies, which is scheduled to be implemented from December 25 to January 24, 2021, will provide 707,621 poor families, equivalent to 2,833,332 people, with a total of $32.12 million,” he said.
Sopannha added that the ministry has conducted a survey to evaluate the results of the implementation of the programme.
“The ministry is also ready to train and remind ministry officials to continue the programme,” he said.
Koh Kong province spokesman Sok Sothy said yesterday that the provincial administration has implemented the identification process very strictly, promoting and monitoring villages and communes to make Kheng’s letter as effective as possible.
“So far, 3,548 families have applied, but the 29 commune councils decided to interview 3,428 families. In the final stage, the commune council decided to recognise 2,900 poor families,” he said. “There are 1,610 type 1 families and 1,290 type 2 families.”
Sothy added that Koh Kong province, from June 25 until yesterday, had received around $2.4 million for the IDPoor scheme.