Social Protection System Review of Cambodia

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In 2017, the Royal Government of Cambodia published a new Social Protection Policy Framework (SPPF), providing an ambitious vision for a social protection system in which a comprehensive set of policies and institutions operate in sync with each other to sustainably reduce poverty and vulnerability.The Social Protection System Review of Cambodia prompts and answers a series of questions that are crucial for the implementation ofthe framework : How will emerging trends affect the needs for social protection, now and into the future? To what extent are Cambodia’s social protection instruments able – or likely – to address current and future livelihood challenges? How does fiscal policy affect social protection objectives?


This review provides a contribution to the ongoing policy dialogue on social protection, sustainable growth and poverty reduction. It includes four chapters. Chapter 1 is a forward-looking assessment of Cambodia’s social protection needs. Chapter 2 maps the social protection sector and examines its adequacy. An investigation of the distributive impact of social protection and tax policy is undertaken in Chapter 3. The last chapter concludes with recommendations for policy strategies that could support the establishment of an inclusive social protection system in Cambodia, as envisaged by the SPPF.



The pro-poor potential of social protection and fiscal policy

OECD Development Centre

This chapter focuses on the impact of existing social protection programmes on poverty and inequality. It finds that social assistance in Cambodia is well targeted through the IDPoor system but has little impact on poverty and inequality because of low levels of coverage and low benefit levels. Health Equity Funds, however, do ease the burden of health spending for a significant number of poor households. Pension benefits for retired civil servants and military veterans dominate social protection spending and are unsustainable. Social protection spending in Cambodia is low by regional standards. The tax system is progressive but increases poverty, an impact that public transfers are too small to offset.


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