Press Release

Information Note: UN Cambodia’s COVID-19 Response to Current Community Outbreak

10 May 2021

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN’s priorities are and continue to be in saving lives and stopping the transmission of the virus; mitigating the socio-economic impact on the most vulnerable Cambodians; and recovering better from the pandemic.

Below provides brief explanation of what the UN is doing in response to the current community outbreak:

  • Health response: WHO is working closely with the Ministry of Health and local authorities in the immediate health response to the high risk areas in Phnom Penh and the provinces, including in red zones. Specifically, WHO provides technical and operational advice on surveillance for early detection, risk assessments and rapid response, contact tracing, clinical management, risk communication and non-pharmaceutical measures and provision of essential supplies (such as pulse oximeter, oxygen concentrators and PPE). WHO also continues to advise and support the COVID-19 testing and vaccines rollout. Cambodia was among the first countries to receive vaccines through COVAX: on 2 March the country received 324,000 doses of AstraZeneca.


  • Emergency food assistance: Together with Humanitarian Response Forum partners, the UN is advocating, in coordination with INGOs and local CSOs, for access to the red zone to provide emergency food assistance and other basic amenities to those in need. 


  • Social assistance: The UN continues to provide technical assistance for further growing the emergency cash transfer and the scale up of IDPoor with new beneficiaries, notably those who are not yet receiving IDPoor benefits. In 2020, the UN supported Royal Government efforts to expand Cambodia’s emergency cash assistance  to cover about 2.5 million people. UN is consistently advocating for inclusion of more nutritious and diverse food to be provided free of cost to the vulnerable population and those in need, if they are unable to purchase it.  The UN also supported a phone survey assessment of the situation of vulnerable people in red zones, conducted in partnership with NGOs.


  • Safe re-opening of garment factories: The UN conducted a risk assessment of garment factories and provided guidance on safe reopening of factories. The guidance to factories and government included risk-based recommendations and a checklist including actions that can help keep factories and workers safe and mitigate transmissions for the reopening and during the pandemic. UN also collaborated on producing and disseminating risk communications material adapted for garment factories and workers.


The UN in Cambodia has mobilized over US$ 100 million to support the over-all COVID-19 response and recovery since 2020.



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Sreysros Keo

Programme Communications and Advocacy Officer

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