First EU’s EBA decision, now Covid-19 – one in four garment workers could face job loss

As if the recent decision by the European Union to partially withdraw Cambodia’s preferential access to the European market under the “Everything but Arms” (EBA) programme wasn’t bad enough, now the coronavirus outbreak is threatening the country’s apparel and textile industry further: With textile supplies from China being delayed or cancelled, up to 160,000 Cambodian garment workers could face the shutdown of their factories by the end of the month.

While ten factories suspended operations by the end of last month, by the end of March, it could be as many as 200 factories due to a shortage of raw materials, estimates Heng Sour, a spokesperson for Cambodia’s labor ministry according to Nikkei Asian Review. He suspects that in the worst-case scenario, this could affect 160,000 garment workers.

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