With coronavirus cases continuing to spread in Cambodia, some pregnant women say they are concerned about whether they will be able to give birth safely in hospitals, while others say they can’t afford the costs of mandatory COVID tests.
The Cambodian government said it will donate $200,000 along with medical equipment to Myanmar’s military junta to aid efforts to contain the pandemic.
“I rely mostly on my wife who works in a factory to pay off bank debts. My wife’s salary is only enough to repay the loan,” San said. “I have not asked the bank for a delay because I am afraid the bank will not lend to me someday later when I need a new loan.”
With the pandemic continuing to impact production costs, smallholder farmers say they are struggling to repay debt to banks and microfinance institutions, and pulling their children out of school to make ends meet.
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.