The Asian Development Bank has pledged $3 million from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Facility to aid the Kingdom’s flood-relief efforts, the regional creditor said yesterday.
The grant will largely go toward rice seeds, “temporary repair of irrigation canals and related facilities” and funding cash-for-work programs to repair damaged rural roads, ADB Cambodia country director Eric Sidgwick said in a statement.
“ADB’s support is a direct response to the need for action on quick road repairs to ensure the smooth delivery of relief supplies and the provision of rice seeds to enable replanting before waters recede,” Sidgwick said.
Estimates released by the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) put the total cost of property damage from this year’s flooding at $1 billion. More than 240,000 hectares of rice and seedlings have been devastated by flood waters in 20 provinces.
Nhim Vanda, first vice president of the NCDM, said that while waters had receded in all provinces, Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Siem Reap had been hit the hardest.
“During the flood, the government distributed one million tonnes of rice to flood victims and 200 tonnes of rice seed,” Vanda said yesterday, noting he had yet to receive reports from provincial authorities on how much of the allotted rice and seedlings had made it to the hands of those affected.
I Long, deputy provincial governor of Banteay Meanchey, one of the provinces identified by Vanda as worst hit by the flooding, told the Post yesterday that while local authorities have indeed begun distributing food staples and begun repairing damaged roads, people’s need remains great.
“Even though the floodwater has receded, residents still suffer because so much has been lost and damaged, like farms, houses, streets and there is not enough food.”