Tens of thousands of garment workers, who are facing slashed work hours and wages amid the global pandemic and economic downturn, will struggle to repay mounting microfinance debt, a new civil society report says.
Many Cambodians are being forced to sell their livestock and farms to pay off debts to banks and microfinance institutions, prompting calls for the government to prevent lenders from collecting during the outbreak.
Deep household debt might soon push Cambodia into a crisis as job losses caused by Covid-19 make it even harder for families repay loans, experts and debtors say.
With many Cambodians out of work, COVID-19 is also throwing another problem into sharp relief: that of precariously high microfinance debt.
The couple, in their 50s, run a roadside restaurant in Kampong Speu, a province west of Phnom Penh that has the highest number of microcredit loans in Cambodia.
The Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC) and the Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) have announced that all services will continue to be offered throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic, according to a joint statement by the ABC and CMA released last week.