The Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) has donated 250 houses to poor and disabled veterans in Pursat province to improve their families’ living conditions and reward them for service to the nation.
The ceremonial handover of the homes took place at the social land concession in Bun Rany Sen Chey Damnak Troyeung village of Phnom Kravanh district’s Prangil commune on August 15.
Social land concessions are a legal mechanism allowing the transfer of state private land to Cambodians who lack land for housing and farming in order to improve their livelihoods.
The ceremony was presided over by Kun Kim, vice-president and secretary-general of the Cambodian Veterans Association (CVA). Also present were provincial governor Mao Thonin, who is also honourary president of the provincial veterans association, and CRC first deputy secretary-general Men Neary Sopheak.
Leang Titthan, director of the provincial information department, told The Post that these 250 houses added to the 50 that the CVA had handed over in June.
“According to the planning, 628 houses will be built for veterans in total. We have now handed over 300 houses in the first and second stages. The team will continue to build houses to meet our veteran’s needs,” he said.
He added that the provincial governor was also providing 50kg of rice per month for each family until the end of this year.
“They are all poor veterans, and the authorities have provided them with seeds to get started growing crops along with free rice for now so they can live comfortably,” he said.
According to Titthan, the team is also building schools and health centres to enable the veteran’s children to study nearby and for everyone in the community to receive medical treatment conveniently.
Sam Chankea, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said providing housing to poor veterans was a suitable use of government resources since their families were in need.
“It is the government’s obligation to promote the right to shelter and the right to adequate housing. So, as a civil society, we support the government to continue doing this. But we also request that all evictions be halted for now and for the government to think about finding appropriate shelter for all Cambodian people who are in need and not to discriminate,” he said.
However, he said the government should prepare a funding package to support the veterans for at least six months, because if they only provide houses and the people who live there cannot find jobs it will make it difficult for them to continue to live in their new residences.