Family’s Ordeal Lays Bare Cambodia’s Socio-Economic Fragility During Pandemic

Ma Phearavy, her husband and oldest son found themselves unemployed in March. The novel coronavirus pandemic had wreaked havoc on the global economy, and, unsurprisingly, the Chinese investment-powered port city of Sihanoukville was not spared.

At a construction site, the Chinese-owned company informed all workers they were being terminated with immediate effect because there was a lack of material to continue their work. The boomtown was seeing a quick exodus of Chinese workers, businesses, and investment.

“We all lost our jobs and we had to come back to our hometown,” said Phearavy, who hails from Pursat province’s Phnom Kravanh district.

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