The Siem Reap Physical Rehabilitation Centre has opened its new building to provide better services to people with disabilities in the province and neighbouring Kampong Thom and Preah Vihear.
The new facility, located in Svay Dangkum commune of Siem Reap town, was inaugurated on December 1 in a ceremony also attended by outgoing Australian ambassador Pablo Kang, according to the provincial administration.
"The acquisition of this new building is in line with the growing demand for rehabilitation services and the presence of quality and acceptable rehabilitation services without obstacles is absolutely indispensable to supporting people with disabilities in their daily lives with dignity and social equality," it said.
Neak Neron, deputy governor of Siem Reap, said that Cambodia is now a country with national unity, peace and political stability, security and social order, which has provided the foundation for the Kingdom to travel down the path of respecting human rights, strengthening the rule of law and democracy, developing its economy and reducing poverty and he pointed to the construction of these facilities to assist the disabled as part of the gradual progress being made by the Kingdom across all sectors.
Sim Sothun, the Cambodian delegate in charge of the Disability Fund, also expressed his deep gratitude to the Australian government and its people for their continued support and attention to the plight of the disabled.
"The rehabilitation work in Cambodia that began more than a decade ago is under the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and with the contribution of the provincial authorities as well as additional support from the Australian government through the ACCESS program," he said.
Sothun added that despite the challenges, the Disability Fund still strives to promote the provision of services to people with disabilities and seeks funding from the Ministry of Economy and Finance as well as relevant partners to provide services to people with disabilities more comprehensively.
According to the Rehabilitation Centre, since 1991, more than 8,000 clients have come to receive rehabilitation services from the centre. This figure is low relative to the number of people who needed such services but the lack of promotion and resources has reduced the number of clients they were able to help.
Another factor is the lack of cooperation from relevant institutions, local authorities and organizations for people with disabilities. Meanwhile, rehabilitation services such as aid equipment like wheelchairs as well as human resources and budgeting in general are still limited.
Sothun also requested that the government, development partners and philanthropists do more to support the work of the centre so that people with disabilities and their families are able to fully benefit from what they are offering.