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  1. The government has advised Phnom Penh and provincial task forces to cooperate with local authorities in helping identify poor families, so they can register and benefit from a planned cash subsidy scheme that aims to help poorer families adversely affected by COVID-19. The government letter released yesterday, signed by Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, stated that in line with the continued efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, the government has organised and implemented several measures, including cash subsidies for poor families to provide immediate intervention for those affected. The letter read: “The Ministry of Planning has set up a framework and mechanism to identify poor families and it is important that we work together to find families currently unidentified within the system. “Some poor families that have been affected by COVID-19 have gone under the radar and this has led to further poverty. We need to adjust existing poor family data, remove families whose living conditions have improved and identify families not on the system.” “This work will be done in cooperation with village and commune authorities. The work will aim to be completed by the end of May for rural areas and June, for urban areas,” the letter added. The letter also said, “Heads of the Phnom Penh and provincial task forces will cooperate with local authorities to maintain data clarity and eliminate irregularities. They will aid village and commune authorities with selection decisions to ensure the right people receive equity cards for the future cash subsidy scheme planned by the government.” read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50726823/sar-kheng-calls-for-cooperation-in-identifying-kingdoms-virus-hit-poor/
  2. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said yesterday that from now on Cambodia will be enforcing a strict mandatory 14-day quarantine for all passengers flying into the Kingdom. He made the announcement early yesterday morning while monitoring virus prevention measures at the Phnom Penh International Airport as two flights from South Korea landed. He said that the flight contained a variety of nationalities, including Cambodian, Korean, Iraqi, French, and Americans, adding that the 106 passengers who arrived on the flights will now be put into mandatory quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Cambodia. The mandatory measures come after Cambodia identified two new cases of COVID-19, with both passengers who tested positive departing from the United States but one via the Philippines and one via South Korea, bringing the total number of cases in the Kingdom to 124. Mr Bun Heng visited the airport to personally check on the arrivial of the rwo flights from South Korea carrying the passengers. “We have come today to check the health certificates and insurance policies of passengers which should have been issued from their individual countries or organised by themselves before travelling to Cambodia,” Mr. Bun Heng told reporters at the Phnom Penh Airport. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50726820/inbound-air-passengers-must-undergo-quarantine/
  3. A giant Vietnamese agribusiness company is destroying indigenous land in Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri province, said a joint press release from Equitable Cambodia and Inclusive Development International that was published on Monday. The human rights groups wrote that many indigenous people in Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri province have been waiting for years for the Vietnamese rubber company, Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), to finally return their sacred land, as had been promised by a 2015 mediation agreement. Instead, the organisations claim, HAGL carried out sweeping land clearances in March that had been earmarked for return to the communities through a government-led demarcation process. read more https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/vietnamese-firm-destroys-indigenous-land
  4. Anthony Igoe, 31, from Clydebank, Scotland, has picked up two bacterial infections while on holiday with partner Alana Fonseca, who claims insurance firm Cigna is refusing to pay A sick Brit teacher in Cambodia has been given a brutal ultimatum - cough up £20,000 or lose one of his lungs. Anthony Igoe was hospitalised with a serious lung infection but medics in the south-east Asian country have told him he must pay for the antibiotics himself. The 31-year-old's family, from Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, are scrambling to raise the cash or doctors will simply remove the infected lung. read more https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/brit-teacher-cambodia-told-docs-22067761
  5. Moody’s Investors Service says Cambodia has strong fiscal buffers to counter disruptions to trade and growth arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement released in Singapore Friday, the US credit rating agency said slowdowns in China, the EU and the US would deter Cambodia’s growth prospects this year, with GDP forecast to contract 0.3 percent. But GDP is projected to rebound by almost 6.0 percent next year, it said. Moody’s said Cambodia’s latest credit profile reflected the country’s “solid growth prospects” as well as its “moderate and highly affordable debt burden.” Despite limited infections, the rating agency said the virus outbreak would affect investment and tourism in Cambodia, especially given its close links with China. “Cambodia is particularly exposed to a slowdown in China given their extensive economic linkages,” said Moody’s Vice-President and Senior Analyst Anushka Shah. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50726578/moodys-sees-solid-growth-prospects-for-cambodia-2/
  6. My 95 years old friend is now bedridden. I don't see how he could go to Chaeng Watana to make its one year non-imm visa extension. He should extend his visa now. Of course, there is the amnesty so he's not in a hurry but we have to find a solution. I guess there is a measure like "authorized 3 months delay with medical certificate" Right ? What about several such delays ? My friend can die tomorrow or within 5 years. I hope it will be 5 years. If it's just a question of months, we can expect he dies before immigration come to make troubles. A possible immigration doctor would be able to note he cannot move but do such doctors exist ? An immigration officer can also note the situation. Of course, if he cannot move to Chaeng Watana he cannot move to France nor to the immigration jail. He's not a problem for Thailand as he has money, staff to take care of him and health insurance. My question is: What should we do ? Thank you
  7. More than 250,000 tourists have visited popular destinations across the country over the last two weeks, an increase of almost 50 percent compared the previous fortnight in late April, according to the Ministry of Tourism. Tourism Minister, Thong Khon, said that from May 4 – 17, the number of tourists significantly increased – with most choosing to visit “eco-tourism” sites in Sihanoukville, Kep, and Kampot in particular. With more than 40 percent of those being Cambodian residents there are now plans to further expand the current domestic tourism movement, he added. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50726122/tourism-reports-50-percent-increase-in-two-weeks/
  8. While many carriers around the globe have gone bankrupt or are struggling financially, there is one airline company in Cambodia that is currently expanding its reach amid the COVID-19 pandemic. TTR Weekly reported yesterday that JC Airlines will soon fly direct to Chiang Mai, one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations. Currently, there are no direct flights between Cambodia and Chiang Mai. People from Cambodia who want to visit Chiang Mai need to go through a Bangkok layover before arriving at the popular northern Thailand city. JC Airlines will reportedly start flying to Chiang Mai on July 3. According to the company, JC Airlines will fly from Phnom Penh to Chiang Mai and back two times a week. However, the company did not mention the type of aircraft that will service the route, but it would likely be an Airbus A320 jetliner because JC Airlines operates a fleet of A320 aircraft. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50725785/chiang-mai-next-destination-for-jc-airlines/
  9. While Cambodia is still not one of the best countries for its citizens to live, the Kingdom can take comfort that the quality of life here is ranked as above that of many countries in the world. A study conducted by a leading business publication found that Cambodia provides a better life than many countries in Africa, South America and Central America. The CEOWorld’s Best Countries for its Citizens to Live 2020 placed Cambodia in the 120th spot, surprisingly putting it above Uruguay and Colombia, two South American countries that are considered “developed”. Cambodia registered a total score of 65.19, with 100 as the highest score that a country can obtain. Under Stability, Cambodia obtained a score of 40.06, 70.16 for Satisfaction and 85.35 under Balance. Uruguay and Colombia are ranked 126th and 159th, respectively. In fact, Colombia just became the 37th member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), alongside such countries as South Korea, Japan, United States, Australia, New Zealand and most members of the European Union. read more https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50725341/ceoworld-ranks-cambodia-120-from-171-on-its-liveability-index/
  10. Cambodia’s border restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic have taken a huge toll on the livelihood of citizens relying on commerce or migrant work in neighboring Thailand, workers and local leaders near the frontier told RFA on Thursday. Villagers from Poipet in Banteay Meanchy province told RFA’s Khmer Service that they are struggling with lost income as a result of the Thailand border closure, which began in March as the pandemic was spreading around the world. One family from the city made their living by pulling hand carts full of goods between Thailand and Cambodia to make their living. Korng Vathey, the family’s 42-year-old matriarch, told RFA that the family has lost all their income due to COVID-19. She said once the borders were closed, she began picking wild Asian watergrass which grows along the banks of nearby creeks, and trying to sell enough of it in the market to buy enough rice for the day. For her efforts, she was able to make about 10,000 riels (U.S. $2.44) per day. But now even this meager income has been taken away. “All the streams are flooded, so there is no more [watergrass],” Korng Vathey said. “Now if I see snails, I try to catch and sell them [instead],” she said. But since so many have lost their jobs, there are others competing with her for wild vegetables and snails. With such a meager income, on some days she is resigned to having a meal of just porridge with a little salt, she said. Sao Pheary, another villager, told RFA that she and her 10-year-old go out with a group of 20 other vilalgers to pick watergrass. She is able to make about 8,000 riels ($1.95) per day, which she said was not enough to live on. “Sometimes [the adults] don’t eat so we can give more food to the children,” she said. Poipet’s Commune Chief Kork Lorn told RFA that most people living there rely on jobs in Thailand or in businesses along the border, which is why so many are suffering since the closure. He said authorities have distributed rice, canned fish, and fish sauce to 2,000 families, or about 12,000 people in the commune. He also said he was registering the names of the poor so that the authorities could distribute aid. “We are choosing [to help] them. They used to pull carts to get by, but now they are staying at home and have nothing to eat,” he said. The commune chief urged villagers on the brink of starvation to reach out to the local authorities to get aid. The border closure has not only impacted rural villagers, but also those in Cambodia’s larger cities, who are feeling the pinch after months of shuttered businesses. Ork Soeun, a Phnom Penh bus driver, used to transport passengers to and from the Thai border. “Since the buses stopped, I’ve lost all my income,” he told RFA. Ork Soeun took out loans to pay for living expenses, but now he is in a situation where he must juggle debts to four different lenders, borrowing from one to pay another, because he cannot make any money. He said that some of the lenders agreed to let him delay payments, and are only charging interest. Cambodia’s border with Thailand remains closed, but border officials have said they might reopen in June. But even those who don’t rely on cross-border commerce are out of work due to the coronavirus. Meak Sophea, a motor taxi driver from Phnom Penh, has been forced to take out loans to support his family, as he and his wife lost their income to COVID-19. He told RFA that he owes $270 to a moneylender, and if the lender refuses his request to delay payment, he will have to resort to drastic measures to repay his debt. “I can’t make any money. I might have to sell my motor taxi,” he said. Stimulus A local NGO that focuses on the human rights of workers urged the government to release a stimulus package to help those out of work. “Our neighboring countries are helping people, including by giving them money for food,” said Vorn Pov, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA). “Cambodia should follow [the example] of Thailand to ensure people’s livelihoods, so they don’t have to sell their belongings to buy the things they need to live. We don’t have jobs. We have nothing left to sell, so we’re just waiting around to die,” he added. Vorn Pov pointed out that Prime Minister Hun Sen claimed that he has set aside about $3 billion to help those who were left unemployed because of COVID-19. Cambodia’s Ministry of Labor said that workers who lost their jobs should receive stimulus money totaling $40 this week. The government previously promised $40 payments would be delivered earlier, but has so far failed to deliver. The ministry said it has received the names of about 50,000 workers in need but has to pay them from a reserve fund of about $110,000. 330 Cambodian factories have suspended operations since the onset of COVID-19. Of those, 100 have resumed but 20 closed down permanently. Reported by RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Eugene Whong. https://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/border-05212020182751.html Copyright © 1998-2020, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.
  11. PHNOM PENH — Cambodia on Thursday detected its first new coronavirus case in almost six weeks, the Ministry of Health said. Test results for a 26-year-old Cambodian man from Kampot Province’s Kampong Trach commune came back positive on Thursday after his sample was taken upon his arrival late Wednesday, according to a Health Ministry statement. The man flew from the Philippines to South Korea and then to Cambodia, when he arrived on Wednesday at around 10 pm, according to the statement. Just this weekend, the government had announced that all 122 COVID-19 patients had officially recovered. The last case was detected on April 12. The man was traveling with 62 other passengers, more than half of them are Cambodians. Onboard, were also 23 South Koreans, as well as Japanese, Belgian, Taiwanese, and Dutch travelers. The patient is now being treated at state-run Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, the statement said. “The other 62 passengers are quarantined for 14 days at a hotel in Phnom Penh,” the statement read. The Health Ministry said all the passengers had been tested for COVID-19, and only one came back positive. Or Vandine, Ministry of Health spokeswoman, said the passengers did not have health certificates that proved they were COVID-19-free. “They departed ahead of the announcement of the health certificate requirement,” she said in a message. On March 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a notice that made it mandatory for all foreigners arriving in Cambodia to have such a health certificate, issued within 72 hours by recognized health authorities. Only holders of type-A and type-B visas were exempt from this requirement, which are reserved for diplomats and international organization staffers. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health extended this requirement to all people who arrived in Cambodia. Vandine said the passengers might not have known about the requirement. “We announced [the requirement], but some Cambodians who are stuck overseas don’t have the means to get information, or they don’t have enough information. Maybe they don’t know,” she said. “It is normal that we implement tough measures, but our Cambodians overseas don’t have that information.” Vandine did not respond to questions about whether foreigners traveling on the plane carried the required health certificate. Cambodia on Wednesday lifted its ban on travel from the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Iran. This came nearly two months after the government first imposed the restrictions. Travelers from those countries can now enter the kingdom again, but all arrivals – irrespective of their citizenship or their country of departure – will have to take tests and wait for results at a designated facility at the airport. If the tests come back negative, they will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. If they come back positive, they will have to quarantine for 14 days at a government-designated facility. In addition to providing a COVID-19-free health certificate, foreigners are also required to have health insurance that covers costs of at least $50,000. https://www.voacambodia.com/a/cambodia-reports-first-coronavirus-case-in-six-weeks-quarantines-62/5430170.html
  12. Matthew Watkin, 37, from Shrewsbury, was teaching English in Siem Reap Detained yesterday after a mother alleged he abused her two girls, 13 and 17 Watkin allegedly told the police that he kissed the two girls goodnight A British teacher has been arrested in Cambodia after allegedly sexually assaulting two teenage girls. Matthew William Watkin, 37, from Shrewsbury, had been teaching English to children in Siem Reap province for several months before he was detained yesterday. The mother of the two girls, aged 13 and 17, complained to the police on Monday that the Brit had abused her daughters. She said that the children were relatives of Mr Watkin's wife and they were staying the night at his property. read more https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8343117/British-teacher-arrested-sexually-assaulting-two-girls-aged-13-17-Cambodia.html
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