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Soksamphoas Im paper published in CSEAS Kyoto Working Paper Series

Paper title: How Was the Cambodian Cash Relief Program Assist Poor Women Affected by COVID-19 Economic Crisis?
Authors: Soksamphoas Im, Chanmono Oum


Social protection schemes in developing countries have been acknowledged as inadequate and government officials and policymakers are continuously challenged to improve them. Cambodian women and the elderly living without social safety nets commonly confront limited access to income generation and safety. Beyond these existing deprivations, the COVID-19 pandemic has further debilitated the livelihood of many poor and vulnerable Cambodians, especially women, creating economic uncertainty, and health and gender-based impacts. To address this dire situation, the Cambodian government launched a temporary, unconditional Cash Relief program in June 2020 to assist poor households severely impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis which was implemented within the existing National Social Protection Policy Framework (NSPPF) 2016-2025 Identification of Poor Households (IDPoor) scheme. Despite its ongoing implementation, an assessment of this Cash Relief initiative’s impact on the selected population remains to be investigated. For this reason, this study employs women’s economic empowerment (WEE) as a framework to assess how COVID-19 has affected poor women’s livelihood and discuss the impact of Cash Relief in easing their hardships during this unprecedented time.

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