The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is supplying 15,000 sets of food and hygiene products for Cambodians who had migrated to neighboring countries but returned home after their livelihoods were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
KOICA, the foreign aid arm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said last week the supplies are being delivered in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
More than 10,000 Cambodians have repatriated since March after their businesses were closed or they lost jobs due to the pandemic.
Most of them must stay at border provinces ― mainly Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Battambang, Oddar Meanchey and Prey Veng ― and do not receive food from the government during their two-week quarantine.
The supply began, Oct. 14 and will run through December.
In response, KOICA began distributing emergency food and health hygiene products to 15,000 households in the five provinces in order to provide humanitarian aid to vulnerable people in Cambodia and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in border areas.
“To keep everyone safe from the pandemic, we need to help vulnerable people outside of the social safety net,” Roh Hyun-jun, KOICA country director in Cambodia, said during a launch ceremony, Oct. 14.
Roh was joined by IOM country director Kristin Parco and Prey Veng Province Deputy Governor Rung Srei Mul.
The food supplied consists of 10 kilograms of rice, canned fish, biscuits, water and nutritional products for the two-week quarantine period.
The hygiene products include soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and masks.
KOICA is also providing education to the returnees on daily practices to aid in prevention of COVID-19 transmission, such as hand washing, social distancing and proper wearing of masks.
It is separately training 160 Cambodian health workers how to test for COVD-19 infection and collect samples, among other related skills.
KOICA plans to provide additional walk-through testing booths and negative pressure carriers to strengthen prevention of other infectious diseases in Cambodia, too.
The supply of the packages is part of the “Agenda for building resilience against COVID-19 through cooperation” initiated by the Korean government to better respond to the virus.
Established in 1991, KOICA endeavors to combat poverty and support the sustainable socio-economic growth of partner countries. Yi Whan-woo/Korea Times