Women, children most vulnerable during disasters

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A home damaged by storms in Kampong Thom. Fresh News

The government and civil society officials have said that women and children are the most vulnerable during natural disasters, noting that Cambodia is among countries with the highest risk of natural disasters occurring.

Hun Baromey, country director at ActionAid Cambodia, was among the speakers at a national workshop titled ‘Promoting Women’s Safety and Gender Mainstreaming in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation’ held at the National Committee for Disaster Management yesterday.

She said that floods, drought and storms are the main disasters in the Kingdom, affecting the livelihoods and economic conditions of the community.

“Natural disasters really affect Cambodians’ lives and also their communities, especially women and children,” Ms Boramey said.

She noted that according to a study by London’s Institute of Economic, women and children are vulnerable to climate change 14 times more than men due to several factors, including social pressure, poverty, lack of information, and education for women is still limited.

“The Cambodian government has been trying to respond to these threats through mainstreaming gender into national strategic plans, policies and other programmes,” Ms Boramey said.

She also mentioned that according to a world risk report in 2018, Cambodia is one of the countries with the highest risk of disaster, ranking fourth in Asia and 12th over the world.

Nhim Vanda, first vice president of the National Committee for Disaster Management, yesterday said that in fact, women and children are often more seriously affected than men from natural disaster and human actions.

“Cambodia used to seriously suffer from natural disasters in 1978, and it also was the year that Cambodian people were suffering from human action, specifically the deaths under the Pol Pot regime,” Mr Vanda said. “At that time, many women and children died. Of course, the government always pays high attention to help women through gender equality.”

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