The Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) is continuing with its humanitarian operations, in line with the 2021-2030 strategy’s second and third-year development plans across four priority areas. The charity aims to utilise more than $13 million raised through the “Together with the Cambodian Red Cross for Social Environment” campaign, launched on World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, May 8.

CRC said last week that by June 1, its headquarters had received over $13.9 million from 999 philanthropists. Meanwhile, the 24 other provincial branches were vigorously fundraising.

The CRC’s priority areas are disaster management, crisis and climate change, community health education, promoting fundamental principles and humanitarian values, social welfare, and institutional development. The CRC reported that over 120,000 vulnerable families had benefitted directly from livelihood assistance, housing construction, hygiene facilities, and water wells.

In 2022, the CRC expanded its interest-free loan programme, offering loans to an additional 543 families, extending the scheme to a further 267 families in early 2023. This means a total of 810 families in land mine afflicted parts of Pursat, Pailin, Oddar Meanchey, and Preah Vihear provinces have been assisted.

Education and awareness on topics such as climate change, public health, elderly health, cancer, and traffic accidents have reached over 520,000 families directly.

The CRC added that it had provided $1 million, for the 12th year, to Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital, alongside additional funding and food for Angkor Hospital for Children and numerous other aid organisations. This year saw contributions of $2million to the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority and $100,000 to earthquake relief for Turkyie.

In a departure from tradition, the CRC chose not to celebrate the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Day on May 8 for the fourth consecutive year. Instead, it harnessed the 160th anniversary as an opportunity to raise funds.

President of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, Yong Kim Eng, lauded the CRC for its significant role in providing unbiased, non-political aid to people. He noted the CRC’s contribution to public traffic safety awareness and disaster relief.

Since 2010, the Cambodian Red Cross has constructed 1,218 houses for impoverished families and the elderly. In 2022, it added 104 more homes for impoverished senior citizens and widows with children.