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4 Jul 2020

Khmer Times

Cambodia: COVID-19 causes about 400 factories' suspensions leaving over 150,000 workers jobless

"400 factories in Cambodia suspend operations, affecting over 150,000 workers due to COVID-19", 02 July 2020

About 400 garments, footwear and travel goods factories in Cambodia have suspended their operations, leaving over 150,000 workers jobless due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a joint statement ...

“This number is likely to rise sharply in the coming weeks as numerous brands and retailers in Europe and North America have canceled or delayed orders due to the drop in retail sales in Europe from the pandemic,” the statement said. Consequently, millions of Cambodians could fall back into poverty due to this crisis.

It added that unemployed workers only receive a stipend of 30 U.S. dollars from the factory and 40 dollars from the government per month.

The statement renewed its call on the European Union to postpone the effective date on Aug. 12 of the partial withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything but Arms (EBA) trade benefits for a year due to the pandemic in Cambodia...

The EU through EBA has become its largest market for footwear, said Ben Kao, secretary general of the Cambodia Footwear Association.

“Our factories and workers have suffered enormously from the pandemic, and many are trying to survive until demand, hopefully, resumes later in 2020,” he said. “A second blow from the withdrawal of EBA benefits could be a second blow that most factories will not be able to sustain.”