The Law on Disaster Management, which passed in July and was discussed at a government workshop in mid-December, has yet to take effect because it still requires royal and government decrees, according to officials.
Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said that “normally it takes 30 days” for a law to be royally decreed once past, but for the law in question, he said several sub-decrees that need to be initiated by the National Committee of Disaster Management (NCDM) have also yet to be issued.
“In general, everything is being put in place, but the law requires sub decrees to do anything else,” he said.
The law, which breezed through the National Assembly with a nearly unanimous vote some five months ago, promised sweeping reforms to the NCDM, allowing it to better coordinate with other ministries to effectively respond to disaster situations.
NCDM spokesman Keo Vy said that beyond the missing decrees, the government is still working on bringing together other necessary resources.
“We need more human resources and equipment,” he said. “The UNDP [United Nations Development Programme], World Bank, and other NGOs have been helping us.”
Several other ministries meant to be coordinating with the NCDM on the implementation of the law were unable to provide updates or comment on the delay.