IMF recognises Cambodia’s response to COVID-19 hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo:

Phnom Penh (VNA) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recognised the Cambodian government’s training and cash-payments initiatives among drastic measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its report — entitled “Policy advice to Asia in the COVID-19 era” released earlier this month, the IMF said the pandemic has stark impacts on the region, with business shutdowns and collapsing demand causing widespread job losses.

Some jobs may never return as the world adjusts to a new, post-COVID reality. Nearly all countries in the region have introduced new measures in response to the pandemic.

The report stated that cash transfers have been given in more than half of the countries in the region. In some cases, they were unconditional. But in most cases, they were targeted – to low-income households.

Unemployment benefits have been expanded in Indonesia, and subsidised training introduced in Cambodia, the report said.

According to the report, national capacity is the key to address future challenges. However, middle-income countries which lack mechanisms like unemployment insurance have been most active in introducing new measures.

Cambodia, starting with very little in the way of social protection generally, has used a system designed to identify those living in poverty to deliver cash transfers, the report said.

COVID-19 wreaked havoc to the Cambodian economy, which experienced a loss of up to 250 million USD in the past year.

The Cambodian government has disbursed about 291 million USD to save more than 692,000 vulnerable families during pandemic. Around 2.7 million Cambodians have benefited from the government’s cash assistance./.