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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Credit Where Credit is Due

Credit Where Credit is Due


I was pleased to see the two articles about the Repatriation Program that appeared in the Dec. 4-17 issue of the

Phnom Penh Post, but upon reading them I was surprised to see among several dozen references to the U.N. High Commission

on Refugees (UNHCR) there was not a single mention of the agencies which are implementing the program which UNHCR

oversees. They are, in alphabetical order, the Cambodian Red Cross, CARE International, Christian Outreach, Concern,

The International Federation of the Red Cross, The Japan International Volunteer Center and the U.N. World Food


Many hundreds of Cambodian and foreign nationals from these agencies have been working for nearly a year at a wide

range of tasks including operation of Reception Centers, transportation and resettlement of returnees to their

chosen destinations, distribution of food and other supplies, etc. This does not include many hundreds of other

Cambodians who have been working at national, provincial, and district levels to receive the returning refugees

and assist in their reintegration. Nor does it include a number of agencies-both indigenous and foreign-who are

supporting the repatriation operation and contributing to it through village-level development projects and by

other means.

Much credit is due to UNHCR. They have taken much initiative and they have in my opinion been doing a fine job

coordinating a program that many people said could never succeed. However, I would in the future caution the Phnom

Penh Post against directly reprinting articles from publications such as Refugees magazine, which is a public relations

instrument of UNHCR.

- Rob Thayer



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