The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) and Caritas Cambodia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation in monitoring and evaluating disaster management.

The MoU was signed at the NCDM headquarters on 10 February by NCDM deputy chairman Hang Samoeun and Caritas Cambodia executive director Kim Rattana.

“The MoU between the NCDM and Caritas Cambodia was established to strengthen cooperation in the field of disaster management, monitoring and evaluation in Caritas Cambodia’s target areas,” NCDM said in a press release on February 10.

Samoeun expressed his support for Caritas Cambodia’s efforts to identify and launch four programmes from 2022 to 2024, focusing on disaster management and diversified community development, according to the press release.

He said he hoped that the implementation of these programmes would result in disaster preparedness and response, as well as ensure disaster risk reduction and an improvement in the efficiency of disaster management capacity shared between Caritas Cambodia and NCDM.

The press release quoted Rattana as saying during the MoU signing ceremony that NCDM always pays attention to coordinating and supporting all of Caritas Cambodia’s activities that contribute to disaster management in Cambodia. This is to reduce the suffering of those affected by such occurrences.

NCDM spokesman Seak Vichet could not be reached for comment.

Caritas Cambodia is the social development arm of the Catholic Church in Cambodia. It was created to promote the values of love, concern, justice, unity of peace, sharing, and brotherhood.

On January 31, Caritas Cambodia provided 250 camping tents to the Ministry of Environment to be used in initiatives that contributed to the protection, conservation and management of natural resources, and for educating the general public – particularly the younger generation – on the environment.

During the government-instituted lockdown last May, Caritas Cambodia and the local church of Phnom Penh and Takhmao Town provided food assistance to 9,000 poor and vulnerable families affected by the pandemic. The recipients of the aid included constructions workers, garment factory workers, garbage collectors, and fishermen living locally in areas where movement was severely restricted.

Caritas Cambodia said that its food distribution work during the lockdowns aimed to reduce human suffering, uplift the dignity of the poor and needy, and protect their rights.

In October 2020, Caritas Cambodia and NCDM provided emergency response materials to provincial search and rescue teams to aid their efforts in locating and evacuating vulnerable inhabitants affected by severe flooding in Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Pailin provinces.

The materials included 20 rescue boats, 115 life jackets, 500 blue tents, 500 mosquito nets, and 500 blankets.