The Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) provided funding and assistance – in the form of food and essential materials, as well as indirect education – to nearly three million people throughout 2021 and the first five months of this year. The contributions were made to assist the government in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

This was shared in a report which CRC president First Lady Bun Rany presented to King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk on June 1. The report detailed the past humanitarian activities and future working direction of the CRC.

“To participate in the prevention of Covid-19, the CRC provided an emergency budget to each of its branches, who purchased rice, sanitiser gel and alcohol for staff and Red Cross volunteers.

“The staff and volunteers educated almost three million people via peer-to-peer activities and the use of loudspeaker broadcasts, inspiring them to come forward and be vaccinated,” she said, adding that the CRC also donated to more than 110,000 families who were living in locked down “red zones” at the peak of the pandemic.

On the international front, the CRC had provided $100,000 to the Vietnam Red Cross to support its operations, $10,000 to the Myanmar Red Cross and $50,000 to the International Red Cross’ work in Nepal.

It also announced progress in natural disaster relief, care for the elderly, social welfare and the construction of homes for veterans.

The body also noted that although it had not been able to celebrate the May 8 World Red Cross Red Crescent Day for three years due to the global pandemic, it had solicited donors’ support from all walks of life.

“In 2022, our mid-level offices received an operating budget of over $16 million and two 12-seat vans, as well as rice and specialised equipment,” she said.

Meanwhile, the 25 capital-provincial branches continue to call for support and are ready to receive funds from donors.

According to the report, the CRC will continue to focus on Covid-19 prevention as it prepares to implement the second-year development plan of its 2021-2030 strategy through further strengthening its branches, sub-branches, volunteers and youth groups.

The King and the Queen Mother commended Bun Rany and her delegation for the contributions and detailed annual report.

“The CRC have paid attention not only to alleviating the hardships of the people, but also to contributing to the promotion of Buddhist culture in Cambodia,” the Queen Mother was quoted as saying in the CRC press release.

The Queen Mother also praised the government’s success in its control of Covid-19 and for having the initiative to transform Luang Mer Hospital into a specialised cancer treatment centre.