A senior official of the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) called on philanthropists to join the humanitarian organisation in working with the government to address challenges faced by the needy and restore their livelihoods post-pandemic.

Men Neary Sopheak, first deputy secretary-general of the CRC, spoke on February 4 during the launch of “UNITE with the Cambodian Red Cross for Social Inclusion” promotional campaign to about 200 students, including monks, at the University of Management and Economics, in Sihanoukville.

She highlighted that the purpose of the outreach programme is to raise awareness in advance of the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day on May 8 and also commemorate the birthday of the CRC, which was founded on February 18, 1955 to become the 85th member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

May 8 is the World Red Cross/Crescent Day because it is the birthday of Henry Dunant, the founder of the movement, and 2023 is the 160th anniversary.

“’UNITE with the Cambodian Red Cross for Social Inclusion’ has many important objectives, including calling on our compatriots, especially philanthropists from all walks of life, to join the CRC and the government to restore people’s livelihoods after the pandemic,” Sopheak said.

She also stated her intention to continue to promote the important achievements of the CRC in addressing challenges and continuing to strengthen community resilience in fighting against Covid-19 as well as highlight the CRC’s diverse activities to contribute to improving the social environment.

“The Cambodian Red Cross is committed to continuing to address the impacts of complicated systematic challenges, which is having a significant impact on inequality. The crises have caused the most vulnerable and vulnerable groups to be severely affected in their livelihoods, including their physical and mental health,” she said.

Sopheak said the target group include the helpless elderly, minorities, widows with many children, people with disabilities, orphans, people living with HIV/AIDS, victims of violence, abuse and all kinds of discrimination.

The CRC also helps victims of all kinds of disasters such as landmines and unexploded ordnance, floods, storms, gale, drought and traffic accidents. Communities in remote rural areas also benefit from clean water wells to build community resilience, she said.

“Your contributions to the CRC help to build an inclusive society that does not leave anyone behind and without discrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion or political affiliation,” she said.

According to the CRC, in 2022 it helped 73,134 of the most vulnerable families, built 104 houses and provided skills training and education and raised awareness to hundreds of thousands of other families.

The organisation has focused on four key priority areas for the 2021-2030 strategic plan, including disaster and climate change management, public health and community healthcare, fundamental principle and humanitarian values promotion and institutional development.