Phnom Penh (FN), Feb. 6 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet stated that a sustainable economy entails fostering a culture where people can sustain themselves. However, it is also essential to acknowledge and request governments’ support for those who are unable to do so.

The premier spoke on Tuesday (Feb. 6) at the annual meeting of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation at the Ministry.

Samdech Thipadei underlined that the introduction of the social protection policy aims not only to provide immediate assistance but also to invest in various sectors to enable self-reliance among the people. When individuals can sustain themselves, they contribute to the state's prosperity, and the state can then support those who are unable to support themselves, fostering collective growth.

Samdech Thipadei further added, "Sustainable economic development entails fostering a culture and creating conditions for individuals to be self-reliance, contributing to the state's welfare. However, we must acknowledge that in our free market economy, while we aim for individuals to fend for themselves, there are always segments of our population who require support."

On the occasion, Samdech Thipadei underscored that there are individuals who are unable to sustain themselves due to health issues, physical disabilities, old age, orphanhood, and certain disabilities, for whom the state must acknowledge partial responsibility in their upbringing.

Premier Hun Manet continued,"The Royal Government has played a significant role in assisting its people, particularly through policies aimed at enabling people to be independent. This capability enables the government to reallocate resources from those who can independently sustain themselves. By fostering individual autonomy, the state gains strength, and the surplus resources can be directed to aid those who are unable to provide for themselves. Conversely, if the state solely undertakes the responsibility of sourcing resources, the distribution becomes limited, weakening overall resilience."

The Royal Government must acknowledge that even those who are capable of sustaining themselves may encounter short-term challenges for which the state should provide assistance, enabling them to recuperate and resume their normal activities, the premier added.

Indeed, during the COVID19 outbreak, many Cambodians were adversely affected. Consequently, the Royal Government initiated a cash subsidy program to help them regain stability. Additionally, apart from social protection and humanitarian programs, the government has heavily invested in education and healthcare to develop human capital, promoting good health from early ages. Moreover, the social assistance program prioritizes pregnant women and children under two years of age.

At the same time, the government has invested in infrastructure and electricity in various regions, facilitating the establishment of diverse businesses to support livelihoods.