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Improved Social Cares by Collaborated Intervention between CSOs and Duty-bearers in Cambodia

By: Linking & Learning Facilitation team Cambodia

The Linking & Learning Facilitation team in Cambodia held a hybrid workshop on “Identification of poor households and Request of Equality Cards for the older people”.  The aim was to connect and amplify community voices. From the workshop, it came out strongly that poverty and older people’s concerns need to be prioritized in Cambodia through regularly identifying and providing equity cards or ID poor cards to the poor and the older people in a society is an interactive intervention and approach. Social pension funds should be increased in the context of the COVID 19  outbreak.  The time keeps moving and everyone will become old. Therefore, what can we do today for older people and our future!

More than 200 participants from the Older People’s Associations (OPA), members of Cambodian Ageing Network, NGOs, and CBO’s representatives including the key government officials from the Ministry of Planning under the Department of Poor Household Identification and line provincial department of planning as well as the local government have joined in the workshop. It was a joint hybrid workshop co-organized by Help Age Cambodia and Battambang provincial administrative on 4th November 2021. Yet, most participants joined the event physically at their respected district/province and joined a live conference via Zoom app.

“Government should provide public services free of charge to the older people especially when they go to access health care from state hospitals. Furthermore, each commune and Sangkat should have an annually allocated budget for social pension funds for the older people. Please don’t leave us behind in social care and well-being!” one participant said.

In a response to the requests, H.E. Keo Ouly said, “Government regularly works with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and every commune and Sangkat to review the updated indicator data of ID poor cards for households around Cambodia. In total, people can request  ID poor cards at commune /Sangkat levels every day. The equity cards or ID Poor cards are valid for 3 years. There are more than 68 hundred thousand households carrying ID poor cards now. Government is not able to allocate or provide social pension funds to support to all the older people.”

In addition, Mr. Tum Vira, Executive Director of Help Age Cambodia (HAC), added that older people have appealed to the government for consideration of provision ID Poor Cards for older people as their age identity not general as a whole family package. Equity cards should be provided for older people individually to promote their access to social services and other social protection benefits.

According to the Research report Older People’s Associations (OPA) model in linking with health and care systems in Cambodia published by Help Age International in March      2021”, census data of Cambodia in 2019, there were 1,378,688 million older people (60 years and older), who make up approximately 8.9% of the total population of Cambodia. The proportion of older people (60 years and older) is projected to increase to 10.4% by 2030 and then to 17.9% by 2050. However, the economic growth led to Cambodia reaching lower middle-income country status in 2015; 12.9% of the population still lived below the poverty line in 2018.

The global population is rapidly aging, with an increasing proportion in older age groups. The proportion of the world’s population over 60 years old is projected to increase from 12.3% in 2015 to 21.5% in 2050.

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