600 persons with disabilities in Battambang received flood relief items from the Australian GovernmentSovithiea
On 19 November 2020, the Australian Deputy Ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Luke Arnold, through the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program, distributed flood relief items to four Cambodian Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and directly to around 600 persons with disabilities that were recently affected by the devastating floods that swept across the Battambang province. These items included 6,000 kg of rice, 6,000 cans of fish, 2,400 bars of soap and 600 mosquito nets. This follows the distribution of flood relief items by the Australian Ambassador H.E. Pablo Kang in Kampong earlier this week.
Persons with disabilities are particularly vulnerable in the event of a natural disaster due to inaccessible evacuation, response, and recovery efforts. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic can further complicate relief efforts, particularly for persons with disabilities, due to factors such as inaccessible health information and reliance on caregivers.
Mr. Luke Arnold addressed attendees during the event to highlight the priorities of the Australian Government, stating that “the Government of Australia is committed to keeping the most vulnerable, such as persons with disabilities and women affected by violence, at the centre of its response to the current crisis.”
Ms. Pak Ran, a blind woman who suffered from the impacts of the floods stated, “The recent floods have destroyed our rice fields, which we depend on as a primary source of sustenance for our families. This is a devastating situation for us and other families that have lost so much as a result of the severe flooding in this region. My blindness makes it difficult to find alternative sources of income in order to provide for my family, so receiving these timely and much-needed relief items from the Australian Government is a real blessing for all persons with disabilities that are currently impacted by these devastating floods”.
The Australian Government, through the ACCESS Program, supports DPOs and the Persons with Disabilities Foundation to ensure services are available to persons with disabilities, especially during the pandemic and floods.