Cambodia

COVID-19 Update: June 13th 2020

We received the following update from Kia Helm, Acting Operations Manager of Hagar Cambodia, this week:

“As of June 13, there are 128 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Among these cases, 125 (97.65%) cases have been cured and discharged from hospitals. Only 3 cases are still active and under treatment. Most of the cases are imported cases. There is no community transmission yet. However, the World Health Organization (WHO), government called on the public to remain cautious about COVID-19. They reminded the community that a second wave of the virus is a “real threat. Religious gatherings, schools, casinos and entertainment venues remain closed.

Furthermore, Cambodia’s key economic pillars – the tourism and garment industries – have all been hit severely with several hundred thousand formal and informal workers being affected in this sector alone. Prime Minister Hun Sen recently predicted that the country’s economy may contract 1.9 percent this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) issued a direction on community aftercare program to local and international NGOs on 3 of June 2020. According to government direction, local and international NGOs who run community aftercare or community based care program can resume their business as usual. However, the government advised not to have a big group gathering with survivors more than 10 people and social distancing needs to be applied.

Hagar Cambodia’s operation is now fully functioned. Business is as usual. The teams have conducted their action plan to deliver services. Our priorities are to deliver pending activities that are funded by donors, facilitate clients’ employment and small businesses as result of impact of Covid-10 on their financial situation, and continue to assess and deliver emergency support to clients and ex-clients.”

COVID-19 Update: May 15th 2020

Cambodia has had no new COVID-19 cases reported for 30 days straight. Total confirmed cases are 122 as of Tuesday 12 May. 121 cases have been cured and discharged from hospital and only 1 still active.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO), Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Minister of Health have called on the public to remain cautious about COVID-19. They reminded the community that a second wave of the virus is a “real threat”.

Furthermore, Cambodia’s key economic pillars, tourism and garment industries have all been hit severely with several hundred thousand formal and informal workers being affected in this sector alone.

More than 180 factories in Cambodia have suspended operations while another 60 are at risk of closure. The situation impacts 200,000 garment workers directly and two million others indirectly according to Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC).

The government is reassessing the cost of assistance to laid-off garment workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as it braces itself to spend more on rising unemployment according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Religious gatherings, schools, casinos and entertainment venues also remain closed.

Although schools remain closed, the Government continues to provide online teaching and learning. Some of our clients don’t have a smartphone or can’t access the internet which makes studying difficult. More recently the Government also introduced a distance e-learning program on TV. However, our clients in remote villages do not have access to this.

Due to the warnings from the Government and WHO, the counsellors are still unable to physically visit their clients, so they continue to rely on phone counseling.

On a more positive note, we are seeing the level of stress and anxiety of some clients reduce due the COVID-19 situation easing.

COVID-19 Update: April 30th 2020

As at Tuesday, 28th of April, there have been 122 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Cambodia. However, 98% of these cases have recovered and been discharged from hospital and there have been no new cases reported in the last two weeks. The Cambodian Government has warned that the Coronavirus situation in Cambodia is still in the early stages and that a second wave of cases could occur at any time. Religious gatherings, schools and entertainment venues all remain closed.

Hagar Cambodia’s Case Managers continue to conduct assessments with clients and their families to identify needs and provide emergency support. Recently, the Economic Empowerment team worked with a supplier on a clean water project on behalf of a family in a remote area who couldn’t get access to clean water. Finally, this project was successfully completed and two Hagar clients and their mother can now obtain clean water from the well. They can also use the water from the well for their day-to-day living, gardening and raising animals.

Since there have been no new cases of COVID-19 in Cambodia in the last two weeks, some travel exceptions have been made and Hagar Cambodia staff are now also permitted to travel for certain, approved activities.

Hagar Cambodia staff were therefore able to travel to and support a client through her court case last week and they sent through this account of the day:

Champa* is 17 years old. She is also a young mother of a 2-year-old daughter, who is the result of rape from when she was 14. Her court case has been ongoing and Hagar team has been providing support to her in this process.

Her court case was supposed to happen in early April; however, her case was postponed  until the end of April due to Covid-19 outbreak in Cambodia. Champa was unhappy about the delay because she always wanted her court proceeding to finish. Finally the court case occurred and our Hagar lawyer and counsellor attended and provided legal support to Champa in the courtroom and counselling to ensure that she felt emotionally supported.

Champa said: 

“I am thankful that both Hagar’s staff dedicated their time to support my court proceeding and emotional support to me. I would not be able to do it without a clear court proceeding explanation.”

Hagar Cambodia staff said of Champa’s court case: “Although, Covid-19 is a global threat and challenge, the survivors’ justice is still one of Hagar’s top priorities.” 

Such a story is a beautiful illustration of Hagar’s commitment to those women and children that we work with and that this commitment is unchanged because of COVID-19. Some of our other clients are experiencing a loss of employment and income because of the reduced capacity of businesses and others continue to struggle emotionally, but Hagar will continue to do everything we can to assist at this time.

Pictured above are members of the Hagar Counselling team. Please keep them in your prayers.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the client

Our Work in Cambodia

Listen to Longdy (a former Hagar client who now works as a counsellor) share his story with Steven Moe here. We are so proud of him!

With an estimated 256,800 people living in modern slavery, Cambodia has the highest level of slavery in the world after North Korea and Uzbekistan. Domestic and gender-based violence are common, with a recent UNICEF report revealing that one in five Cambodian men between the ages of 18 and 49 admitted to raping someone.

Hagar works directly with people who are the human face of these harrowing statistics. At the individual level, we ensure they have a safe place to live. We provide them with trauma counselling, medical care and legal advice to help them understand their rights and seek justice. They also have the opportunity to go to school, learn vocational skills or gain a university degree. Ultimately, because of Hagar they are able to overcome their trauma and be transformed.

At the national level, we work closely with the Royal Government of Cambodia and police to increase their knowledge of trafficking practices and trauma informed care.

We also developed a toolkit for legal professionals, which is now being used across Cambodia to ensure that children who have survived abuse are not re-traumatised during the legal process. We are currently working in close collaboration with First Step Cambodia, to support the government in developing Cambodia’s first set of social work standards.

Help us Transform Lives

Donate Now

By partnering with Hagar, you're supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. 

Help us Transform Lives

Donate Now

By partnering with Hagar, you're supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. 

 

Help us Transform Lives

Donate Now

By partnering with Hagar, you're supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. 

 

Help us Transform Lives

Donate Now

By partnering with Hagar, you're supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. 

 

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