Ministry shoots down allegations of IDPoor card annulments

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People receive financial support through cash transfer the poor and vulnerable families during Covid-19 in May. SOCIAL AFFAIRS MINISTRY

A senior social affairs official on June 1 denied recent accusations made by unnamed political parties alleging that IDPoor cards had been revoked from beneficiaries of the government cash support programme for not supporting the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP).

Chhour Sopanha, director of the Department of Social Welfare under the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, underscored that the public should not be deceived by any claims that the government would strip anyone of their IDPoor card or deny them cash support strictly due to political affiliation.

The comments came just four days before the commune council elections, and two days before the end of the campaign season.

Sopanha said: “Such claims are intended to strike fear and incite anger in our people, especially [IDPoor] beneficiaries, towards the incumbent commune councils as well as the government as a whole.”

He stressed that the councils and broader government have been striving to provide IDPoor cards to the needy, which offer access to the Covid-19 cash transfer programme and other social benefits.

He reiterated that no authority had ever withdrawn IDPoor cards from anyone merely for not supporting the CPP. On the contrary, “the ministry and National Social Security Fund, along with provincial and commune [officials], continue to support households with threatened livelihoods, with benefits from the cash support programme”, he said.

According to the ministry, as of May 24, the government has transferred $683.64 million to struggling households under the programme since June 24, 2020, in nine rounds divided into a total of 23 month-long distribution periods.

The 24th distribution period – the ninth round’s second – began on May 25 and will continue until June 24.