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UN seeks $9M in aid for Cambodian flood victims

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Houses are flooded in Prek Chey village in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district. Some 800,000 people in the country’s 19 provinces were affected by the floods. Hean Rangsey

UN seeks $9M in aid for Cambodian flood victims

The UN in Cambodia and their humanitarian partners last week launched the Cambodia Floods Response Plan 2020 and called for more than $9 million to help some 237,000 of the most vulnerable people affected by the floods in October.

According to a document released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on November 11, some 800,000 people in the country’s 19 provinces were affected by the floods. Of that number, about 388,000 people are in need of assistance. But the projected $9.43 million will cover only 237,000 people, equal to 52,861 households.

The objective of the plan is to provide life-saving assistance and protection to people affected by the storms and flooding and re-establish access to basic services. It will provide multi-sector assistance to the most vulnerable groups, including displaced people and children, OCHA said.

It added that the plan will also support the restoration of livelihoods by providing assistance to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 for disaster-affected people.

Cambodia experienced heavy rainfall as a result of multiple tropical storms which caused flooding in 19 provinces in and killed 42 people. More than 161,500 houses were damaged, OCHA said.

Pauline Tamesis, the UN Resident Coordinator to Cambodia, told The Post that the UN and its partners were providing assistance to flood-affected people in support of the government response.

The response plan aims to identify critical priorities to be covered by UN agencies, NGOs, and the Red Cross in order to complement and augment the wider government response to the floods, she said.

“Activities set out in this plan have been carefully prioritised to ensure that they will have the most significant impact on the lives of the most vulnerable people affected by the floods, including responses to meet their immediate humanitarian needs as well as early recovery activities to help them get back on their feet,” she said.

Cambodia experienced a drought before the floods. Both disasters affected more than 310,000ha of agricultural land, but only over 120,000ha of them were damaged, according to a circular released by Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries on November 13.

It said in response to the disasters, the government distributed more than 6,434 tonnes of rice seeds and many other seeds to residents in 19 provinces.

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