Experts fear child marriage on the rise in Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri amid COVID-19 pandemic

A Bunong wedding ceremony held in Mondulkiri on February 2019. Hungkry Syphon

Last year, at the age of 17, Khea Sreyleak dropped out of her school in Mondulkiri’s O’Raing district to marry a 24-year-old neighbor — a member of her small Bunong community. She became a mother within a year and spends most of her day caring for her infant and family.

Cambodia’s economic growth forecast downgraded as COVID-19 cases rise

Laborers work at a construction site in Phnom Penh, July 21, 2021. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

The UK-based Fitch Ratings credit rating agency has downgraded Cambodia’s economic outlook below the World Bank’s baseline forecast of 4 percent GDP growth for 2021 as the country continues to struggle with the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Ministry argues against antibody testing as public questions Chinese-made vaccine effectiveness

People wait to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in Phnom Penh. Picture taken on April 1, 2021. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

“I’m worried that I don’t have antibodies,” she told CamboJA, sharing her concerns that a lack of side effects of the inoculations could mean her body hasn’t produced a defence response. “If I have symptoms like fever, I am sure that there is a drug working in my body.”

Cambodia blocks Vietnam border amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

A woman receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Phnom Penh, Picture taken on April 1, 2021. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

The Cambodian government has announced a one-month ban on travel across the border to Vietnam in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. The government has also extended the period between first and second doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines from two to three weeks.

Officials begin using wood seized from illegal logging to make coffins for COVID-19 victims

A pile of confiscated wood at Prey Preah Roka-Chhaep Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear. Picture taken on June 2021.CamboJA/ Panha Chhorpoan

“The ministry has collected around 1,347 cubic meters of wood that have been taken from illegal logging between 2020 to 2021 to produce coffins. Based on the estimate, all the woods under the Ministry of Environment’s control can produce around 1,000 coffins,” Pheaktra said. “Now, twelve Environment Departments across the country have produced 510 coffins and continued their operation in producing more coffins.”