Cambodia remains a largely agricultural country with a large poor rural population. This makes its people vulnerable to floods caused by the seasonal monsoon rains which can cause widespread destruction of fields and homes. Poor hygiene also leads to water-borne diseases. Rural communities also face challenges caused by climate change and deforestation. In 2011, Cambodia and its neighbouring countries were hard hit by widespread flooding. Heavy rainfall inundated 70% of the country, displacing thousands and destroying fields, homes and livelihoods. Storms with the resultant floods, landslides and destruction of homes and livelihoods often leave inhabitants in need of food, temporary shelter, clean water and sanitation, primary health care and non-food items.
ECHO is presently supporting victims of local flooding in Banteay Meanchey province on the border with Thailand. Some 50,000 people will receive food assistance while about 500 households are being assisted with cash grants to help them re-establish their livelihoods. Wells and latrines are being rehabilitated to provide clean water supplies and proper sanitation for some 30,000 people.
To help Cambodia recover from the massive flooding in October 2011 which affected some 1.7 million people, ECHO has provided an additional €3.45 million for projects to provide not only household items and basic health to over 240,000 people in 12 provinces, but also to distribute items such as seeds and small livelihood grants to help the survivors of the floods to reinvest in their farms so that they come become independent of humanitarian aid. This is the second intervention by ECHO in response to the floods. The total assistance provided to Cambodia in response to the 2011 floods was close to €6 million.