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Social Sector's Role in National Development and Assistance to Target Groups Praised by Minister of Social Affairs

Phnom Penh – The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation, under the leadership of Minister Mr. Chea Somethy, has marked significant progress in enhancing public services for vulnerable groups, veterans, and the youth. In a recent address during the 2023 work review meeting and the discussion of the 2024 work direction, Mr. Somethy highlighted the pivotal role and new achievements of the social sector.

The Ministry has successfully implemented national programs aimed at creating robust public services that assist victims, former civil servants, veterans, and provide social protection to the populace. Notable advancements include the restructuring of the Ministry to better align with the dynamic needs of the social sector and the establishment of several rehabilitation and care centers across the country.

Among the key developments are the inauguration of the Poipet Transit and Rehabilitation Center for Victims in Banteay Meanchey, the Mental Illness Care and Rehabilitation Center, and the National Centers for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts in Keo Phos and Kandal Stung. Furthermore, plans are underway to launch an Elderly Care Center and the construction of the National Center for the Disabled of Cambodia in Ang Snoul district, Kandal province.

Mr. Somethy also referenced the hosting of the 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Persons with Disabilities from March 15-17, 2023, which culminated in the adoption of the "Phnom Penh Statement." This document represents a significant commitment by countries in the Asia-Pacific region towards the social and economic empowerment of people with disabilities, especially in the post-COVID-19 era.

Despite these accomplishments, Mr. Somethy acknowledged the ongoing challenges faced by the social sector, including climate change, infectious diseases, migration, homelessness, human and labor trafficking, sexual exploitation, drug use, and demographic shifts. These issues underscore the need for continued collaborative efforts to devise effective solutions.

To fortify the social safety net and enhance social protection, the Ministry has revised its organizational structure to reflect the expanding scope of work and socio-cultural development. It has launched four key programs focusing on the promotion of social services, management of victim rehabilitation services, implementation of social protection programs, and governance of the social sector, aiming to improve the well-being of the people, particularly those most vulnerable to risks.

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