ACT Alert Cambodia 1/2002

News and Press Release
Originally published
Geneva, 24 September 2002 - ACT member Church World Service Cambodia (CWS) reports that the combination of floods and drought are of major concern as the country's most vulnerable populations could face food shortages next year. More than 1.5 million people in 9 provinces have been affected by the drought. Officially only 50% of cultivated areas have been planted with rice and there are fears that all this could be destroyed. Late rains have brought some relief to eight drought stricken provinces, but extensive flooding in another five provinces has affected more than one million people. This is the third consecutive year of disastrous floods in Cambodia and the cumulative effect of that and the drought this year has had a catastrophic effect on food production.
CWS has carried out initial damage and needs assessments in their working areas in Svay Rieng, Kompong Thom, Battambong and Bantey Meanchhey, and found that the rice seedling and transplanting phases have been severely damaged if not totally destroyed.

ACT CO is currently working on a proposal from CWS Cambodia in response to the needs of the most vulnerable population in the CWS working areas. The proposal comprises assistance to save what is left of the crop and replant where there is enough rainwater. Secondary crop production will also be encouraged and supported in areas where there is little rain so that people will have some food to eat.

In response to the concerns of food shortage during the coming three months CWS proposes supporting rehabilitation and mitigation measures with Food for Work in the most affected areas. The estimated budget will be around US$ 140,000.

Thank you for your attention.

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ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.