Covid-19 is affecting LGBTI’s living with HIV in Cambodia. People loose their jobs. No income, no savings and no social security provisions makes people extremely vulnerable in this corona crisis.
Unemployed due to corona measures
Cambodia, like other countries, has taken steps to contain the corona outbreak. Closing catering and entertainment establishments ranging from restaurants to clubs and casinos. As a result, many people have immediately lost their income. In Cambodia, there is no a social security provision like in many European countries.
Many labour migrants also return from Thailand to Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Many thousands are left stranded in Thailand because the borders are closed. This closing of borders affects the LGBT community who live with HIV.
Already 4 x emergency aid due to corona crisis and more to come
Last weeks, policies to contain the coronavirus led to four emergency requests that Untenu honored. A cleaner working in a casino in Poipet lost his job, fell ill and had no financial reserve for hospitalization.
The same happened to a young man who worked as a waiter in a club in Phnom Penh. All the bars and clubs are closed down, resulting into a loss of income. Unfortunately, he had a traffic accident which is now a financial burden.
A gay man from Siem Reap lost his job because all weddings had been cancelled and beauty salons had been ordered to close. He had no money for hospital bills and needed to travel to the capital to collect his HIV medication.
Finally, this week we helped a transgender woman who also lost her job as a makeup artist and was forced to move in with her grandmother in Poipet. Grandmother was also sick, we paid medical costs and food.
Food supply is running out
We are getting signals that many people are running out of their food supply. Food prices in Cambodia are rising enormously at the moment.