The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has supplied nearly 300,000 packages of relief assistance to residents in Phnom Penh’s red, orange and yellow zones during the lockdown.
Deputy municipal governor Nuon Pharat said at a press conference on May 6 that the municipality has so far distributed 284,406 packages of food aid to people throughout the city, with most of the assistance going to those staying in rented rooms.
“The residents have received foods from the World Vision Organisation and other donors and companies. Some relief assistance was delivered directly to people in the zones by generous people,” Pharat said.
He added that municipality had never prevented anyone from delivering Covid-19 relief to the people in need, but in order to do so they have to follow the preventive health measures put in place.
“We sent these food packages to the target areas in a timely, transparent and safe manner. But some of our officials were also infected with Covid-19 when delivering the foods to people,” he said.
According to Pharat, the municipal administration would also deliver food packages to people immediately when it sees social media posts regarding shortages.
“The municipal governor always sends working groups, especially our commune and district officials, to respond immediately to those shortages. And the truth is that some people who were better off in terms of their livelihoods also came to get food packages meant for the needy,” he said.
He called on those who are not facing financial difficulties or food shortages to forego the food donations and instead cooperate with the authorities to deliver them to the people in real need.
Sou Ruon, a 30-year-old resident of Kouk Chambak village in Por Sen Chey district’s Chaom Chao commune, told The Post on May 6 that he had already received the relief assistance from the village authorities and his landlord.
“The authorities in my zone pay attention to the wellbeing of the residents and take care of us regularly. In this zone, the village chief and rental house owners have tried to help a lot,” he said.
He added that he didn’t know of any villagers who had experienced food shortages or had no food to eat at all because the authorities had been attentive to everyone.
Deputy municipal governor Koeut Chher, who also attended the press conference, said unnamed opposition groups had unfairly criticised the government’s response to the people’s needs amid the crisis while they themselves had made no contributions.
“Opposition groups always object to the government’s plans, but they do not provide money – not even a single riel – or any labour to help the people. They only talk a lot and make spurious accusations about the government,” he said without elaborating.