In 2021, 17.8% of the 15 million Cambodians were still living below the poverty line and many others just above, which is a key factor for high vulnerability towards individual social risks such as loss of job and income, economic crisis, or climate change outcomes (storms, floods, droughts). Well-functioning Social Protection Systems prevent the population from being fully exposed to such risks and support faster recovery. Cambodia is coming from a situation with very few national social protection programmes and fragmented delivery mechanisms. The global COVID-19 pandemic has shown in many parts of the world, including Cambodia, the inability of governments to respond adequately to such crises. While Cambodia was not severely affected by the pandemic in health terms, the economic impact was more dramatic due to the short-term collapse of the textile and tourism industries and the resulting loss of jobs and income, especially among women.
In this context the project “Social Protection System Strengthening Expert Pool” which is part of the overall GIZ programme "Improving Social Protection and Health (ISPH)” aims to strengthening the social protection and health system with regard to shock-responsiveness, inclusiveness and service quality. With this programme GIZ is continuing its long-standing support for Cambodia's health and social protection systems. The Technical Cooperation (TC) programme consists of three module objectives dealing with the governance and organisation of social protection, and two focused on health sector support. The General Secretariat - National Social Protection Council (GS-NSPC) and the Social Security Regulator (SSR) are the implementing partner for the ISPH programme.
ICON-INSTITUT is providing support to Output 2 “Schemes and components of the social protection system take better account of the needs of vulnerable groups” and Output 3 “The implementation capacities of social protection operators are strengthened and the implementation of measures by providing technical experts, managing the expert pool, and providing technical back-up services.