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New fears as flood victims go home

New fears as flood victims go home

M OST of the 30,000 refugees from flooding in four central provinces have now returned to what remains of their homes, said World Food Program's Martha Teas on Aug 23.

New heavy rains had yet to cause another flood of refugees as the Post went to press.

Teas said her organization had already distributed 463 tonnes of rice and 43 tonnes of canned fish to flood victims in Phnom Penh, Kompong Cham, Kompong Speu and Kandal provinces.

Some 4,936 families made homeless have been living under plastic sheeting supplied by the WFP.

Teas cautioned: "I don't want to say it is all over. I am afraid there will be a flood again."

Earlier the Secretary General of the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC), Dr Hong Sun Huot put the number of flood victims in need of emergency aid at 22,000, adding that in all some 200,000 had had their lives disrupted.

To meet the calls for aid the Japanese government pledged the equivalent of approximately $3 million to purchase 9,000 tonnes of rice from the World Food Program for flood victims and emergency relief, according to a press release issued on Aug 17.

The French government, answering the calls of the Royal Goovernment, gave a donation of $53,000 for flood victims on Aug 18.

French Ambassador Gildas Le Lidec handed over the money to Prince Norodom Sirivudh at a ceremony at the Foreign Affairs ministry.

Princess Norodom Marie Ranariddh, the president of CRC, also appealed to aid organisations to help CRC with flood relief operations, at a conference organized at CRC headquarters on Aug 22.

Dr Huot explained: "The CRC needs assistance to replace its stock [of emergency supplies] and to provide food and shelter. It also needs to provide the farmers with seedlings and assessment of damage."

At the conference, donors came forward and presented envelopes containing donations to the Princess. Representatives from the Indonesian Embassy handed over a total of $21,000. A spokesman for the Cambodiana Hotel donated 20 tonnes of rice to the flood victims.

A whiteboard located in the conference room gave details of further donations and pledges. CWS, LWS, and CIDSE each donated $5,000 for emergency shelter assistance.

The Red Cross Federation donated $20,000. World Vision and Oxfam UK are supplying 1,000 and 700 plastic sheets respectively.

The American and Australian Red Crosses donated medical supplies valued at $5,000 and further gave $1,000 for shelter emergency assistance.

Redd Barna has pledged 500 plastic sheets and the General Fund of the WFP is to receive a total of $80,500 from three NGOs.

Concern is supplying 50,000 rice seeds to flood victims.

As the Princess appealed for aid and thanked anonymous donors for their generosity some of the plaster fell from part of the ceiling and rain began dripping through the roof into the conference room.

Earlier Prince Norodom Ranariddh, together with his wife, made an official visit to the province of Kandal to offer relief supplies to needy families affected by the floods.

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