TWO weeks after the Diamond Island stampede left hundreds dead and wounded the government has collected more than US$600,000 from domestic and foreign donors, adding to more than $2 million in private donations.
The majority of the contributions have been made in the form of direct payments to families of those who perished during the Water Festival’s tragic final night.
Of the total $656,635 raised, the government committed $1,870 to each family of the dead, according to a statement signed by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.
Council of Ministers Spokesman Phay Siphan said yesterday he believed that all of the money had been distributed, and that the Cambodian Red Cross was managing the fund.
The Chinese government donated $500,000 on November 26, Chinese embassy spokesman Qian Hai said yesterday. Chinese businesses contributed $120,000 according to Xinhua.
But Cambodians made big contributions as well. Yesterday Bayon TV finished distributing the $1,250,185 it raised. “Most donations we got from the Cambodian people in the countryside”, said Huot Kheangveng, Bayon TV deputy general director, adding that employees visited 17 provinces to hand out the money.
“Today [yesterday] is the last day for us to distribute the Bayon Television fund to the families of the dead”, he said, adding that families received $5,261 from Bayon TV for each death.
Meanwhile, Cambodia Television Network said yesterday it was still in the process of distributing donations.
Spokesman Pol Vibo said he will go to Kandal province with government officials this week to hand out $2,231 each to families of 66 people from Kandal who died in the stampede. He said the families of 83 people from Phnom Penh who had died received donations on Saturday.
CTN and Cellcard raised $994,741 through donations made in person, by phone and through direct bank payments, according to a statement released over the weekend. Some $56,000 was raised via phone calls and text messages.
Eighty percent of the money will be given to families who lost someone to the stampede, CTN said, while those injured will receive the rest.
Additional reporting by Mom Kunthear