Breakfast every day – that’s how modest Noun Seang’s wishes are. The 89-year-old Cambodian lives with her daughter and grandchildren in the south-west of the country. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, her son-in-law earned a small income as a day labourer. But he, like many other people, has not been able to find work since early 2020. When the pandemic started, tourism collapsed, factories closed, and the construction industry ground to a halt.
The poorest of the country’s population of roughly 16 million were hardest hit by the crisis. About 15 per cent were already living in poverty before the pandemic. Since July 2020, they have been receiving emergency financial aid from the state. It is distributed through a database that GIZ set up in conjunction with the Cambodian Government. GIZ has been working on the IDPoor (Identification of Poor Households) platform on behalf of BMZ and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for over 10 years. It involves a participatory process that uses simple criteria to enable the poorest people in each administrative commune to be registered digitally. Even before the pandemic, many people had already received a special entitlement card giving them access to things such as free health care, drinking water and school meals for their children.
Emergency coronavirus assistance for 2.7 million people
Cambodia’s Ministry of Social Affairs has been using IDPoor’s database during the pandemic: for example, some 682,000 poor households comprising 2.7 million people across the country received financial support in December 2020 – and the emergency aid is continuing. This rapid initiative was only possible because IDPoor had already created solid foundations. Within a very short space of time, the registration process was adapted and people in need are now able to contact the administrations directly, meaning that no one is overlooked. Over 225,000 people made use of this option in 2020.
Noun Seang’s daughter also registered the family to receive emergency aid. The Commune Council chief had told her about this. ‘I can’t read, so I hadn’t had any information from sources such as newspapers,’ she says. ‘We were desperate.’ Since then she has been receiving the equivalent of roughly 40 euros a month. ‘We can now buy food,’ says Noun Seang and is delighted to report that she has ‘breakfast every day.’
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 2030 Agenda provide the framework for our activities around the world. Click on a goal to find out which projects in this report are helping to achieve it.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
The 2030 Agenda and its 17 goals are important benchmarks for GIZ.