Economic Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in Cambodia in the Context of COVID-19

Economic Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in Cambodia in the Context of COVID-19

On the 19th of October 2020, the Australian-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program supported the Department of Welfare for Persons with Disabilities (DWPD) in organising a consultation workshop on “Economic Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in Cambodia in the context of COVID-19.”

The objective of this workshop was to collect data on COVID-19’s impact on economic opportunities for persons with disabilities, to define collective priority actions and approaches to improve access to economic opportunities for persons with disabilities in this new context, and to revisit the existing resources and networks on the provision of economic opportunities, especially for persons with disabilities.

His Excellency Soung Meng Long, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), said that persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply for jobs both in government and private sectors.

Mr. Yeap Malyno, the Director of DWPD, stated that DWPD supports persons with disabilities in finding jobs, running small businesses, and undergoing vocational training.

Ms. Sarah Wadley, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Cambodia, stated in the workshop, “I would like to acknowledge the great commitment [and] leadership of our government counterparts in coordinating these achievements in close collaboration with various disability stakeholders and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO). It is important to engage with, and listen to, DPOs as they are well-aware of the needs of their communities and are often in frontline position[s] to maintain critical socio-economic support to their members.”

Ms. Kay Srey An, Director of a DPO) in Siem Reap, expressed the importance of the workshop for her and other members of her community in learning how to earn profits to support their families. She loves her job at the DPO because she wants to help and support persons with disabilities to earn an income.

The Australian Government, through the ACCESS Program, is working in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia to improve the sustainability, quality and inclusiveness of services for persons with disabilities and for women affected by GBV.