- February 15, 2023 7:12 PM
- October 30, 2020 9:06 AM
- February 10, 2024 2:35 PM
PHNOM PENH – Concern is growing over the rising number of elderly people in the population and their increasing need for support and protection.
The challenges of an ageing population were set out on Oct. 27 at the Third National Older People Forum in Phnom Penh.
More than a million people are aged over 60 and the number is expected to reach 1.5 million by 2025, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation says. The former figure will double by 2050.
According to Oxfam, Cambodia's elderly population is around 1.3 million, about 8 percent of the population of about 15 million. The number is forecast to reach 11 percent by 2030 and 21 percent, about 5 million, by 2050.
Battambang-based NGO HelpAge Cambodia said in a report to the forum that the elderly face challenges such as poor livelihood, lack of income, deteriorating health and inconsistent care.
Oxfam Cambodia director Phean Sophoan said most old people need financial assistance. Oxfam has joined hands with HAC to provide social protection and financial support during financial insecurity, illness and emergencies.
She said that these issues require a comprehensive solution for the care and support of the elderly, especially women. In addition, the poor without a Poor ID Card and pensions need help to live, especially when they are sick.
Tum Vira, executive director of HAC, said the elderly are respected and valued as they are a precious human resource with a lot of experience. Old people without families or relatives were considered vulnerable.
“I hope that the outputs from today's forum will provide additional insights through older people’s feedback, which can be a testament and necessary input for the Royal Government to consider further and design response programs for them for the time being and for the future, especially through the Cambodian National Committee for the Elderly mechanism,” Vira said.
Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this article was translated by Nhor Sokhoeurn for Cambodianess.