Cambodians Forced to Sell Assets to Repay Loans as Coronavirus Hammers Economy

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer the economy, 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.

Some Cambodians told RFA’s Khmer Service that creditor’s agents have even been visiting their homes and demanding loan repayment even though the National Bank of Cambodia has urged them not to do so amid the health crisis, which has seen 124 people in Cambodia become infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

A villager from Svay Rieng province, who spoke to RFA on condition of anonymity out of concerns for his security, said an agent from microfinancer Amret MFI visited him recently and threatened to confiscate his property if he refused to pay the U.S. $10,000 he owes, including interest and principle.

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