“UNITE with the Cambodian Red Cross for Social Inclusion” has been chosen as the theme to mark the 160th anniversary of World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, which falls on May 8.

The Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) decided on the theme on January 17 at its first meeting to discuss the contents of the 160th anniversary celebrations and in preparation for the upcoming 20th Annual Southeast Asia Red Cross Red Crescent Leadership Meeting.

In a January 18 press release, CRC said the theme is intended to inspire the public to work towards ending social inequalities triggered by Covid-19. The theme and its slogan will now be referred to CRC president Bun Rany for approval.

The CRC meeting also discussed climate change and ways to increase awareness of the issue among local people – a topic that it has also proposed for inclusion in the agenda of the 20th Red Cross Red Crescent leaders meeting.

CRC vice-president Khuon Sodary noted that this year the CRC will not hold a national-level meeting to mark the 160th anniversary of World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, but will observe the event by promoting the theme to raise funds for humanitarian cause as it had done amid the pandemic in the last two years.

She said CRC needs to contribute to helping the most vulnerable people who have livelihood hardships as they have lost jobs, income and encountered economic problems due to the pandemic.

“It is necessary for us to have this theme for a campaign to inspire people to join and support humanitarian action and look for funding,” she said.

She also instructed the team to continue to compile various documents to provide to some universities and provinces to show the CRC’s activities.

CRC treasurer-general Ouk Maly requested that officials who go to promote the theme explain it clearly to people, especially to donors in order to receive their contributions.

Men Neary Sopheak, first deputy secretary-general of the CRC, said that with the theme now decided upon, the team would continue to work on compiling documents detailing its concepts and would issue a press release in mid-February.