The Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) donated $1 million to the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday.
The CRC – which is headed by first lady Bun Rany and has been accused of using donations to further the ruling Cambodian People’s Party’s political objectives – began making annual donations of $1 million to Kantha Bopha in 2012, said Annie Sok An, first vice president for the Cambodian Red Cross.
This year’s donation came out of $13 million the CRC raised on May 8, she added. “It’s our contribution to help save children’s lives,” she said.
Kantha Bopha has five hospitals in Cambodia and raises 85 to 90 per cent of its $42 million annual budget from private donations, mostly from Switzerland.
“Every donation is welcome and the $1 million from the Red Cross is very important,” said Dr Denis Laurent, Kantha Bopha’s deputy director.
Since 2012, the hospital has seen an increase in domestic donations. Last year alone donations from inside Cambodia amounted to some $3 million.
“It’s an evolution that more people in Cambodia are donating,” Laurent said. “It’s a good sign.”