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Food distributed to people hit by Covid outbreak, lockdown

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Residents in 'Red Zone' receive food aid on April 20. Phnom Penh Municipal Administration

Food distributed to people hit by Covid outbreak, lockdown

Workers and other people in need in lockdown and other affected areas by Covid-19 are receiving food assistance from the government, trade unions and other organisations.

Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng continues to provide people in affected areas with assistance. On April 21, the municipal administration donated food to more than 200 families in Chaom Chao II commune of the capital’s Por Sen Chey district.

“The lockdown makes people’s lives more difficult. But please be patient, understand and join the government to curb Covid-19,” he said, adding that the government ordered food to be distributed immediately to people in affected areas.

On April 21, the municipal hall transported food to Meanchey district for distribution to 3,000 families in Stung Meanchey I, II and III communes, which have been designated as Red Zones where people are forbidden from leaving their home.

The prime minister also said early last week that tens of thousands of families are living in lockdown areas and the government has been transporting food to them.

The Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (Central) also provided food to garment workers in affected areas.

Central executive director Moeun Tola told The Post that 458 people staying at 216 rented rooms had applied to his organisation for donations. But until now, the organisation’s working group has distributed food to only 50 people because transport was slow.

“We help garment workers, especially those most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Some of them are in quarantine, some are waiting for results of sample tests and some contracted the virus,” he said, adding that workers stay in rented rooms, lost their jobs and their salaries, or had not been paid yet.

“The workers’ situation is not poor, but rather destitute. What we do is to ease the burdens of both the workers and the authorities. In fact, it is the state’s obligation to help people. But because there are so many things to do, the authorities sometimes respond in a timely manner, sometimes they don’t,” he said.

Tola also called on authorities to facilitate food distribution from his organisation and other institutions.

National Trade Union Confederation president Fa Saly has also prepared food to be distributed to 300 impoverished families on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

“We don’t distribute food to garment workers in lockdown areas in Phnom Penh but to construction workers, motor-taxi drivers and other vulnerable people. Most of them come from former anarchic areas in Phnom Penh and Anlong K'ngan or live near Oudong Mountain [on the outskirts],” he said.

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