What are the needs?
Cambodia remains a largely agricultural country with a large poor rural population. People's livelihoods are vulnerable to the floods generated by the seasonal monsoon rains which can cause widespread destruction of fields and homes. Poor hygiene also leads to water-borne diseases. Rural communities face challenges also 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 and landslides often leave inhabitants in need of food, temporary shelter, clean water and sanitation, primary health care and other basic items.
How are we helping?
The European Commission regularly funds humanitarian assistance to address the needs arising from recurrent natural disasters in Cambodia. In the recent past, €3 million were provided following the devastation caused by cyclones Wutip and Nari. Two-thirds of the funds enabled the provision of emergency shelter, food aid, livelihood support, clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion, while another €1 million was used for early recovery such as rehabilitation of small-scale infrastructure and medium-term food assistance. Similarly, a total of €6 million was allocated to Cambodia in 2011 following massive floods which affected 1.7 million people.
Under its Disaster Preparedness Programme (DIPECHO), the European Commission seeks to reduce risks posed by natural hazards in this particularly disaster-prone country, as well as to improve local communities’ resilience. Since 1995, the European Commission has committed close to €13 million for disaster preparedness projects in Cambodia, including €800 000 for 2016-2017. Currently, a consortium of NGOs led by Action Aid, is working to reduce risks posed by natural hazards, as well as to develop joint advocacy strategies on disaster risk reduction issues, and train journalists on disaster reporting.