During most of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cambodia has been blessed with amazingly low infection rates. However, the statistics have skyrocketed in the past six weeks: Infection rates have increased 500% and Cambodia has seen their first Covid-related deaths.
The reaction of Cambodia’s leadership has been very restrictive. No public gatherings are allowed at this time. Schools are closed down, businesses are allowed to operate at only 10% capacity, and even travel between some provinces is disallowed. The governmental restrictions are not only stringent, but also harshly enforced, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison for those who don’t follow them.
Our ability to distribute food and rice as we normally would has been severely limited, but we are very thankful to be planning two large distributions in partnership with the Deputy Governor of Battambang Province, His Excellency Nop Dara.
For the first distribution, we bought 13,200 pounds of rice, 300 cases of noodles, 900 bottles of soy sauce, 900 bottles of fish sauce, and 3,000 cans of fish, all of which will be distributed to 300 families. These families are the poorest of the poor and struggling even more because of the economic impact of Covid, so we’ll be very glad to serve each one 44 pounds of rice, one case of noodles, three bottles of soy sauce, three bottles of fish sauce, and 10 cans of fish to help supplement their diet. The second food distribution outreach will have similar numbers.
While Covid-19 infections have been low in Cambodia specifically, Cambodia’s economy is highly interconnected with other Southeast Asian Countries. Many of the people that we serve in rural areas have lost their jobs due to business closures abroad and in large cities. This widespread loss of jobs has pushed even more rural Cambodians into abject poverty.
Responding to this surging need, we recently gave away over two tons of rice to a Khmer church we support.
This church was able to give away rice to 100 families, and each family took home over 40 pounds of rice. Additionally, we just received our third shipping container full of donated medical supplies, and we completed construction of our 335th clean water well.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our Covid-19 response efforts throughout the pandemic. If you would like to contribute to providing relief to the people of Cambodia in the Name of Jesus, please give now. You can also learn more about how we’re serving the Cambodian men, women and children who have been impacted most by this pandemic by visiting the Covid-19 Response page of our website.