Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that he will travel to four flood-afflicted provinces to meet with the victims and find solutions to their difficulties.

In an October 18 social media post, he said that after receiving East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta on October 20, he will head to Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Pursat provinces for five days and four nights.

“I will meet the victims of these natural disasters in person so that I can hear their concerns myself and decide on how best to render assistance. I must make sure that all domestic affairs are in order ahead of the ASEAN, G20 and APEC summits in November,” he added.

The announcement came a day after he ordered provincial authorities and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to intervene immediately and provide supplies of seed to flood-affected farmers.

He instructed authorities to accelerate their damage assessments and to begin issuing seed reserves immediately.

He also told agriculture officials to focus more closely on the difficulties faced by farmers.

After taking office on October 17, new agriculture minister Dith Tina said he would visit the afflicted provinces to provide flood relief.

According to Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, who was temporarily put at the helm of the agriculture ministry before Tina’s official appointment, as of October 12 more than 200,000ha of rice crops had been affected by the floods, with around 48,000ha deemed recoverable.

On October 17, National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) first vice-president Kun Kim distributed more than 100 tonnes of rice seed to 1,446 affected households in Kampong Cham province and 377 tonnes to the residents of Srei Snam and Kralanh districts in Siem Reap province whose crops had been lost to the floods.

Banteay Meanchey deputy governor Ly Sary said the province had received emergency stores of seed before the flooding occurred. They had been safely stored and were now being distributed to families in each affected district.

Battambang provincial Department of Information director Suos Sopheak said provincial governor Sok Lou had also provided relief to the districts which were impacted by flooding.

“On October 24, the prime minister will distribute seed reserves to more than 10,000 households in Battambang province,” he added.