The Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) has donated $100,000 to support the humanitarian operations of the Turkish Red Crescent National Association via the Turkish embassy in Phnom Penh. The donation followed a devastating February 6 earthquake which had killed at least 37,000 people in the country and neighbouring Syria.
CRC secretary-general Pum Chantinie presented the funds to Turkish ambassador Ulku Kocaefe on February 13 on behalf of CRC president Bun Rany.
“I am deeply shocked and saddened by the enormous loss of lives and tremendous destruction caused by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck southern Turkiye and Syria on February 6,” Bun Rany was quoted as saying in a CRC letter.
“In the name of the Cambodian Red Cross and in my personal name, I would like to convey through you, the ambassador, my deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy towards those who lost their loved ones and to the families who are now screaming for help and support, spiritually and materially, in such very difficult circumstances.
“In the spirit of solidarity and deep sympathy with the people of Turkiye, their government and the Turkiye Red Crescent Society, I would like to donate $100,000 to support the humanitarian operations of the Turkiye Red Crescent Society,” she added.
“I join you in appealing for more assistance, and pray for the speedy recovery and restoration of the devastated areas, as well as the wellbeing of the Turkish people.”
Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the fund may be small in size, but the outpouring of sympathy had been massive.
“Cambodia has a philanthropic policy. This assistance shows the generosity of Cambodia in all of the international affairs it participates in. This includes the more than 9,000 Cambodian blue helmets that have taken part in peacekeeping operations around the world,” he said.
Peou also cited the government decision to allow the cruise liner “MS Westerdam” to dock in Sihanoukville at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of the Kingdom’s generosity.
On February 8, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a statement expressing sympathy for the devastating earthquake.
At the time, the ministry stated that in the spirit of friendship and solidarity, Cambodia would donate $100,000 in relief immediately.
According to Aljazeera, as of February 14, the death toll from last week’s quake had risen to more than 37,000, with at least 31,640 people killed in Turkiye and over 5,800 in Syria.