The Cambodian government has recently tightened restrictions put in place in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, there are four “red zone” districts where residents are forbidden from traveling outside of their area for any reason. There is also a daily curfew from 8 p.m. – 5 a.m., no travel between Cambodian provinces, and severe punishment for residents leaving their homes outside of permitted purposes.
Both the capital city of Phnom Penh and Ta Khmau, the largest city in the Kandal province, are on 100% lockdown. Citizens are only allowed to go outside twice per week, solely to buy food.
With only a couple of new Covid cases per day in early February, the number of Cambodian’s testing positive is now quickly approaching 20,000. A couple of hotels have even been converted into makeshift hospitals to compensate for the shortage of available medical facilities.
Currently, no residents living in a red zone are allowed to visit neighbors, drive, walk, or bike anywhere, making it very difficult to continue our flagship operation: digging clean water wells. It has been five weeks since we constructed our last well, frustrating our 2021 goal for new wells.
Nevertheless, we praise God that we are on track to distribute record amounts of food this year, far surpassing previous years. Increased food donations are our best course of action for meeting the immediate needs of the poorest of the poor.
Hand-in-hand with Mercy Village Church, a local Cambodian-run ministry, we have helped 400 families this year and have literally given away tons of rice, noodles, soy sauce, fish sauce, and canned fish. Most of those we serve live in makeshift housing with no running water or electricity and many are without any income source right now due to the economic fallout caused by the Covid pandemic.
Please be in prayer for us, our church partners and our beloved Cambodian people. To learn more about how we’re helping meet the direst of needs during this pandemic, visit our Covid-19 Response page.