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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New UN flood numbers grim

New UN flood numbers grim

The latest United Nat-ions assessment shows that the damage from flooding is far worse than previously thought, according to a report received by the Post late yesterday.

Drawing on data from three ministries as well as the Nat-ional Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), the assessment raises the number of households that have been evacuated by more than 12,000 – from 34,204 to 46,403.

The report, by the UN Disaster Management Team and the UN Resident Co-ordinator’s Office also raises the number of households affected by flooding  from 279,868 to 331,765.

Citing data from the NCDM, it lists the provinces worst hit as Kandal (68,649 households and four deaths); Kampong Thom (54,414 households and 41 deaths); Prey Veng (40,615 households and 52 deaths); Kampong Cham (33,436 households and 47 deaths); and Siem Reap (23,198 households and 24 deaths).

Nine per cent of the country’s rice crops have been destroyed and 16 per cent are at risk, the report says.

The destruction was greatest in Kampong Thom (19 per cent of rice fields destroyed), Battambang (18 per cent) and Prey Veng (18 per cent).

Em Saroeu, director of the Kampong Thom provincial committee for disaster management, said almost 7,800 households in need of emergency aid in the province had yet to receive any.

“We deliver aid once to each family, but for some areas, if we find that families need more, we will provide them with one more delivery,” he said.

“The priority right now is rice and other food. After the water recedes, we will need to repair infrastructure.”

In Siem Reap, about 13,000 of the households in need of aid had received one delivery,  Chek Kimchun, of the provin-cial committee for disaster management, said.

“We are preparing the second delivery of aid, but we don’t know when we can start because we don’t know how much rice we will receive,” he said.

The World Food Program has launched an emergency operat-ion to deliver one month’s rice supply to 12,000 households in the five most affected provin-ces, following rapid emergency assessments last week.

The World Health Organisat-ion is also stepping up its assistance to the Ministry of Health to conduct rapid assessment of health-care fac-ilities in flood-hit provinces, where 101 health centres have been affected by flooding.

Following reports of orphanages being inundated in several provinces and others running out of food, UNICEF and Save the Children will meet with government officials next week to conduct a joint assessment and prepare an emergency response for the children.

The UN Disaster Management Team will meet NGOs on Tuesday to continue collaborat-ion on relief activities.

Officials from the UN’s Off-ice for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are helping to establish a central emergency response fund.

Two staff members from OCHA’s Bangkok office are due to arrive in the coming days, the UN report says.

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