The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has responded to concerns of fraudulent IDPoor registrations after the bank recently announced $250 million of funding in part for the programme.
The response comes after 6,000 families, from the first two rounds of IDPoor registration, were found to have manipulated their socio-economic status to benefit from the government-funded cash aid scheme.
ADB’s Cambodian Country Director Sunniya Durrani-Jamal told Khmer Times that while she would not directly comment about the fraud cases, she did say that the groundwork is complicated.
“The fact that these fraudulent cases have been reported, attests that the system is working. To help improve targeting of the IDPoor mechanism ADB is financing a grant-funded programme and is working with other partners such as the German government, the UNDP [UN Development Programme] as well as the National Social Protection council,” she added. In addition, the country director also outlined that the development bank and ministry had established a Country Engagement Framework to ensure effective use of this financing and a clear framework for coordination and monitoring.
“This framework is important because it: (i) defines clear roles and responsibilities among those engaged in the programme; (ii) guides periodical progress reporting against the set objectives; (iii) provides a structure that will facilitate engagement with the private sector and (iv) civil society organisations to get feedback and support oversight of the programme,” Durrani-Jamal explained.
On June 30, Prime Minister Hun Sen warned of action against village chiefs and commune councillors should any irregularities be found in the enforcement of the poor aid scheme, which was launched last month to help vulnerable families amid the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, Mr Hun Sen said the fund to support poor families during COVID-19 was increased to $28 million this month because another 50,000 people have been registered with the cards.
“The Ministry of Social Affairs reported the number of registered families had increased from 560,000 to 610,000 and the budget grew from $24 million to $28 million in July,” Mr Hun Sen said.
“We found 50,000 more poor families and we will continue to find them. If the COVID-19 situation does not get better, we will continue the social assistance programme, although the state cannot help forever,” he added.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.