The Phon family work farm their rice paddy in Kompong Thom, central Cambodia. Credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Oxfam
Now finding enough food is a big challenge

Looming food crisis in Cambodia’s flood affected regions

“All agencies concerned with the current situation must act now to ensure that food quickly reaches those in need.”
Francis Perez
Country Lead of Oxfam International in Cambodia
Published: 15 October 2009

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – A food crisis is looming in flood affected communities in Cambodia, international aid agency Oxfam warns. Oxfam estimates that 100,000 people are affected by the floods and 15,000 households are in need of immediate food assistance.

Oxfam expects the situations to worsen if no coordination and urgent action are taken to deliver food assistance. Thus, Oxfam urges relevant government bodies, UN agencies, and other humanitarian organizations to find solutions to the food shortages.

Given the situation Oxfam has decided to urgently assemble food supply for 1,000 families in the three provinces where it operates. This is only a short-term solution for a few of the estimated 15,000 families who are in urgent need of food.

‘Every community we provided relief items to told us they needed food urgently. Some people skip meals so that their children can have more,’ said Francis Perez, Country Lead of Oxfam International in Cambodia. ‘All agencies concerned with the current situation must act now to ensure that food quickly reaches those in need.’

Eight provinces in the central and northern Cambodia are affected by flooding. Many of the affected families are forced to borrow rice from each other, but now finding enough food is a big challenge. In some communities, Oxfam has also observed an increase in food prices which further weakens the capacities of the most vulnerable to live life in dignity.

Oxfam have responded to the current emergency in three hard-hit provinces, Kampong Thom, Stueng Treng and Kratie. It has distributed plastic sheets, water filters, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, Sarongs, kettles, water buckets, and soaps to affected communities in the three provinces. Oxfam has reached about 75 percent of the intended 5,000 families with its relief items despite difficulties to access many affected regions. It also plans to reach an additional 5,000 families in the recovery phase in the next three to six months to help affected communities restore water and sanitation facilities and ensure food and livelihoods security.

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